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01st Sep 2022

REVIEW: Bat Out Of Hell is a horny ride through a musical apocalypse

Rory Cashin

Meat Loaf’s much-loved musical is kicking off its limited run in Dublin.

What a spectacularly unique talent Meat Loaf was.

Having passed away at the start of this year, this musical celebration of his songs feel even more appropriate: a huge, bombastic, constantly over-the-top trip quite unlike anything else out there.

Set in the post-apocalypse where the world has been divided into two classes: we’ve got the rich folk who live in their mansions, but they continue to age at a normal rate, and then we’ve got The Lost, who live in the sewers and spend their time fighting off oppressive policing, but remain 18 years of age forever.

It is in this world that we meet Raven (Martha Kirby), the daughter of one of the richest men in the world, and Strat (Glenn Adamson), the leader of The Lost, who get caught up in their own version of Romeo & Juliet, all via the rollercoaster of emotional musical interludes provided by Meat Loaf’s most famous songs.

The production onstage is lush, effectively evoking the destroyed Earth, and using a slanted perspective to give the illusion that the action is taking place outside a towering skyscraper. But despite the harsh carnage, it never forgets that it is, at times, also a very camp musical, using full advantage of massive, reflective disco balls and oversized party poppers to shoot tsunamis of tinsel into the crowd.

Plot-wise, it is clear that the creators have a love of the 80s, because you’ll pick up on nods to The Lost Boys, Footloose, The Warriors, Streets of Fire, and so on. All of the players look like they’ve had their costumers personally picked out by Joel Schumacher, and it all lends itself to the OTT-ness of it all.

And oh boy, is this musical ever horny. Every last character has sex constantly on the brain. Sometimes love, but mostly sex. And the world of The Lost seems to be some pansexual paradise, constantly being swept up and swept away in the maelstrom of their late-teen hormones.

But let us not forget, Meat Loaf was also one of the kings of the power ballad, so we get incredible performances of ‘Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad’, ‘I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That)’ and his version of Celine Dion’s classic ‘It’s All Coming Back To Me Now’. Just try – TRY! – not to sing along when all of these start playing.

Tickets for Bat Out Of Hell start at €21, with the show running at the Bord Gais Energy Theatre until Saturday, 10 September.

Images via Bord Gais

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