‘Bat Out of Hell’ (Edinburgh Playhouse) | Review By Lewis C. Baird

Jim Steinman’s hit musical ‘Bat Out of Hell’ has rolled into Edinburgh in true Rock n Roll style. The musical is set in a dystopian world and follows the story of Raven; a girl trapped in her home by her tycoon father, Falco, that is until she falls in love with Strat, a member of the rebel group, the lost. The story then follows Strat and Raven’s battle to living life together. 

Glenn Adamson supplies incredible rock vocals and takes the audience on an insane journey to hell and back as Strat. Glenn’s presence as the protagonist alone is very impressive, he has all the talents of a true rockstar, and he confidently gives superb performances of Steinman’s hits. Most notably Glenn gives a spectacular performance of the title number, ‘Bat Out of Hell’. Martha Kirby as Raven provides the best musical performance within this production with her rendition of ‘It’s All Coming Back To Me Now’, her powerhouse vocals are stunning and wow the Playhouse audience. Glenn and Martha’s chemistry as Strat and Raven is also perfect and we root for the couple to get together.

Rob Fowler as Falco and Sharon Sexton as Sloane are a stand out in this production. As Raven’s parents they provide devilish corruption laced with comic nuances, also adding into that their exquisite vocals most notably during ‘Paradise by the Dashboard Light’, the pair entertain the hell out of the audience. Edinburgh audiences lapped Rob and Sharon up as Donna and Sam in the recent tour of ‘Mamma Mia’ and now the Playhouse audiences are once again loving this duo in ‘Bat Out of Hell’. 

Joelle Moses as Zahara and James Chisholm as Jagwire provide insane vocals and a great dynamic, which also adds some great comedy to some tense scenes. Joelle and James’ highlight in this production is their superb performance of ‘Dead Ringer for Love’, the atmosphere was electric in the Playhouse during this number.  

Killian Thomas Lefevre radiates innocence as Tink. Killian’s beautiful rendition of ‘Not Allowed to Love’ leaves the audience in the grasp of his hand with the raw emotion shown. 

The ensemble for this production provide energy, great vocals and deliver superb choreography. The ensemble are as follows; Kellie Gnauck (Valkyrie), Danny Whelan (Ledoux), Laura Johnson (Kwaidan), Jamie Jukes (Markevitch), Rebecca Lafferty (Scherzzo), James Lowrie (Denym), Rory Maguire (Astroganger), Stacey Monahan (Mordema), Samuel Pope (Hoffman/Alternative Strat), Luke Street (Hollander), Leonardo Vierira (O’Dessasuite), Beth Woodcock (Spinotti) and Jayme-Lee Zanoncelli (Goodesilla/Swing).  

Jay Scheib’s direction of ‘Bat Out of Hell’ is contemporary, edgy and quick paced. Jay has envisioned and delivered a musical which does not conform to musical theatre norms, instead ‘Bat Out of Hell’ is almost like a hybrid between musical theatre and a live concert. Jim Steinman’s music and lyrics sounds incredible with this cast’s powerhouse vocals and Michael Reed’s additional arrangements. However, Steinman’s book does fall short in terms of the narrative being a bit flimsy. The concept is interesting; however, the delivery of a strong narrative doesn’t pay off, not that it matters as this musical is all about the spectacle and music. Xena Gusthart begins the visual feast with fantastic choreography which amplifies the energy of each musical number. Jon Bausor’s set and costume design is fantastic, the bold decision to have one static set throughout the full production pays off as the production value is clearly high, and the costume amplifies the dystopian rock and roll vibe. Bausor’s set is complimented by Patrick Woodroffe’s stunning lighting design, this musical has the best lighting currently touring the UK. 

‘Bat Out of Hell’ is a rock n roll extravaganza which blows the roof off of the Edinburgh Playhouse. The cast in this musical are incredibly talented and it is them that make this production the hit it is. 

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Get your tickets here for ‘Bat Out of Hell’:

https://www.atgtickets.com/shows/bat-out-of-hell/edinburgh-playhouse/

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