BAT OUT OF HELL rides into Swansea Arena this week and it’s a force to be reconned with. With blazing motorbikes, rock‘n’roll and a lot of leather clothing, this jukebox musical hits all the right chords.
We’ve been waiting for this to arrive at the Arena for a while now. When tickets went on sale fans got the chance to dress for the occasion and view some awesome bikes.
There aren’t many people out there unfamiliar with the iconic music of Meat Loaf. Blasting through the most well-known hits to some fan favourites, this show is sure to get even the most casual fans singing along. This slight mad musical by JIM STEINMAN runs through his songbook via a story that is both dystopian and rooted in classic tales.
The slightly operatic story begins with Strat (GLENN ADAMSON), an eternally 18-year-old and his gang of similarly ever-youthful rockers, The Lost. The gang resembles a mix between The Lost Boys (1987), the background characters of The Purge (2013), all mixed together with the theatrical fun that a show like this should bring. It’s The Lost’s costumes that especially stand out among the amazing work of costume designer, JON BAUSOR. It perfectly captures the rough Americana that runs through the show.
The tyrannical Falco (ROB FOLWER) watches over the mysteriously ruined landscape of Obsidian, a worn-down cityscape filled with danger.
Falco and his wife, Sloane (SHARON SEXTON), live high above the ruins in their tower. Their daughter, Raven (KELLIE GNAUCK), grows restless and, as she turns 18, she realises that the world outside might hold more. She falls for Strat and the star-crossed lovers battle the odds, and Falco, to be together.
It’s a wonderful story that fits so well with the classic songs by Steinman. Its dystopian nightmare scape matches the guitar-heavy soundtrack in a tone that is very reminiscent of that more creative 80s rock story-telling that we’ve just seen through Stranger Things 4.
The entire cast was so talented. It was probably the thing I came away most impressed by. Ever member of the cast was phenomenal, and their voices were so perfectly matched for those big belted numbers. I was particularly fond of the quartet of the main characters’ rendition of ‘It’s all coming back to me now‘. Gnauck in particular stood out here with an amazing performance.
The set design (JON BAUSOR) was a grand and impressive display. The abandoned tunnel met with the multi-purpose tower was something that was notably interesting on stage. The lighting (PATRICK WOODROFFE) ultisie the design so well and helped the set create some serious theatre magic on stage.
Swansea Arena is a fairly large space so the use of video (FINN ROSS) in the production was very helpful. At first, it almost appeared that what we were watching was pre-recorded but it didn’t take long to notice the onstage camera person, filming the whole thing.
JAY SCHEIB has directed this show with all the strangeness and magic you would expect from a piece inspired by Meat Loaf’s music. Taking heavily from the iconic cover art, the show captures the rock’n’roll spirt with its mythical story laced with the sometimes awkward teenage romance that is found in so much of Steinman’s songs.
It’s a show that will leave you wanting more, and definitely have you singing the whole way home.
This is the show’s second visit to South Wales recently and here’s reaction from the audience to this incredible production and cast……
One other point, the Musical Director on this tour is (IESTYN GRIFFITHS) a South Wales guy who trained in Cardiff. You can watch our interview with him HERE.
This is the final stop on the current UK tour, the show moves on to Dusseldorf, Vienna and Zurich with a two month stop in London on the way. So this is your final chance to see it here in South Wales for a while.
BAT OUT OF HELL is at the Swansea Arena until the 15th of December with performances at 7:30 every evening. 2:30 matinee will on both Wednesdays and on Saturday. Wednesday 7th December 14:30 showing with be audio described, while 13th December 5:30 showing will be signed. Tickets are still on sale now, for more information and tickets, click HERE.