Posts with the label dominion theatre
Showing posts with label dominion theatre. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dominion theatre. Show all posts

Wednesday 9 February 2022

Dirty Dancing, Dominion Theatre | Review

Dirty Dancing
Dominion Theatre 
Reviewed on Tuesday 8th February 2022

Dirty Dancing is one of the cult classic films that's beloved by many generations and continually stands the test of time, so a stage version has a built in audience. The show is a faithful adaptation of the film, following the story of 'Baby' Houseman as she spends a family holiday discovering love, relationships, sex and inequality.

There's also a number of subplots including an illegal abortion and the civil rights movement which doesn't quite land and feels somewhat shoehorned in but is a nice attempt at making an otherwise surface level show have some depth. Parts of the plot are lacklustre but overall it's a fun revival that doesn't take itself too seriously.

Filling Patrick Swayze's shoes as leading man Johnny Castle is definitely a tough job but Michael O'Reilly does so excellently and has the audience in the palm of his hand from the moment he enters in a Disney prince fashion. His dancing is skilful and he uses the minimal dialogue to command the stage and draw attention throughout, as well as showing a more vulnerable side to the character in the second act.

Kira Malou is wonderful as Baby, showcasing her character growth and dancing ability brilliantly. As a character Baby can be annoying at moments but Kira does a great job of making her seem real and brings her concerns and values to life in a way that feels genuine without being over the top or too whiney.

As her sister Lisa, Lizzie Ottley is delightful, bringing her comedic timing to the role and being a step behind just at the right time. Carlie Milner is a complete stand out as Penny, providing energy, legginess and such precision in her dancing, she's an absolute dream to watch and also gives a touching acting performance.

Aside from the dancing this is really a show about the music, which is so iconic. Whilst all the classic tunes are included in the show, I do wish there was more singing as opposed to some of the instrumental or extremely brief moments of song. Some vocal treats however, are provided by Mimi Rodrigues Alves who is fab. Additionally the Kellerman's band are first-rate as they become part of the on stage action.

Despite its shortcomings, Dirty Dancing is a lovely, feel-good tribute to the film. There's iconic moments aplenty, sleek lifts, sweet romance, a big dose of nostalgia and all in all it's a lot of fun. Did I have the time of my life? Not quite. But was it an enjoyable, carefree night out at the theatre? Absolutely!

Dirty Dancing plays at the Dominion Theatre until 16th April 2022

photo credit: Mark Senior

Dirty Dancing, Dominion Theatre | Review

Wednesday 9 February 2022

Thursday 27 February 2020

The Prince of Egypt, Dominion Theatre | Review

The Prince of Egypt
Dominion Theatre
Reviewed on Wednesday 27th February 2020 by Olivia Mitchell

In 1998, The Prince of Egypt became an animated sensation, bagging an Oscar and much critical acclaim. Since then it's been on a long journey to the London stage. Originally beginning in California in 2017, many changes have been made across the world to bring this current, reimagined production to life.

The plot is made up of the Exodus story, following the child of a Hebrew slave, Moses, who is found in the river and adopted by Pharaoh's family. All grown up, Moses discovers his real heritage and flees the palace to discover his true purpose in life. It's in the vast desert that a case of divine visitation via a burning bush, shows Moses his true mission to free the enslaved Hebrews and take them to the promised land. 

Musically Stephen Schwartz's score is beautiful, with sweeping melodies and evocative patterns, but frequently, the lyrics don't match up in terms of power; often just pointing out the action, rather than developing it. However, it's the choral moments which really soar, with Deliver Us providing so much power. Almost operatic at times the ensemble do an outstanding job of coming together to perform tight harmonies that fill the cavernous Dominion Theatre.

It's the 'telling' aspect of this musical which makes it fall somewhat flat. Philip LaZebnik's dialogue is cumbersome, with very little character or narrative development. There are many moments, which although wonderfully performed, do not develop the plot or characters and feel unnecessary, and whilst some moments are over explained by the dialogue or music, others feel undeveloped. Namely the plagues which are projected in rapid succession but are unclear.

It's safe to say subtlety does not feature in this show and the first act especially feels considerably pantomimic, with the one liners from the film not transferring to stage as effectively. There are also pacing issues, which are resolved a little in act two but do make the musical drag.

However, aside from these issues, there's no denying that this is a spectacularly well performed musical. Amongst the main plot, there's a huge focus on the rivalry of Moses and Pharaoh's birth son, Ramses, which is brought to life excellently by Luke Brady and Liam Tamne. Both actors give their everything to the limited dialogue and create characters which we feel for and are both vocal powerhouses. Christine Allado and Alexia Khadime are accomplished in their performances and perform the Oscar winning song When You Believe brilliantly. With Allado giving a particularly strong performance as the headstrong Tzipporah; it's wonderful to see a woman on stage motivated not only by the man in her life.

As Jethro, Gary Wilmot is underused but excellent in the time he's given. Credit must also be given to Debbie Kurup, Mercedesz Csampai, Simbi Akande and Jessica Lee who stand out throughout. Mia Lakha is also brilliant in her various young roles and is certainly an up and coming star of stage.

Visually this show is a treat. Kevin Depinet's hanging set wraps around the auditorium and cleverly makes the vast space feels more enclosed and welcoming. The simplistic design makes use of many projections by Jon Driscoll which are effective at transforming the space feeling grand, lavish and imposing despite not physically being there. The money moments, such as the parting of the red sea and the building of the pyramids are extremely well done.

It's Sean Cheesman's choreography which is the real star of The Prince of Egypt. Sharp and so so energetic it's amazing to watch. The ensemble come together to create various scenes, materials and emotions which tire you out just watching. Even in tableau moments, the precision is clear to see and this has got to be one of the strongest and most energetic ensembles around.

For spectacle and energy, The Prince of Egypt is worth a visit. It's not going to change your life but it'll provide a fun few hours of superfluous theatricality that looks and sounds very pretty.

The Prince of Egypt is currently booking at the Dominion Theatre until 31 October 2020

photo credit: Tristram Kenton

The Prince of Egypt, Dominion Theatre | Review

Thursday 27 February 2020

Tuesday 26 November 2019

White Christmas the Musical, Dominion Theatre | Review

White Christmas the Musical
Dominion Theatre
Reviewed on Monday 25th November 2019 by Olivia Mitchell 

Seen last Christmas at the Leicester Curve Theatre, Nikolai Foster's exceptionally staged and completely charismatic production of White Christmas has taken it's place in the West End for a Christmas of festivities and theatrical joy.

Based on the 1954 film starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney and Vera Ellen, the musical follows the stories of two former World War II American soldiers who became a famous musical duo. The pair use their fame to join forces with Judy and Betty to save a holiday inn from financial ruin and spread cheer all around.

The embodiment of glamour from start to finish, this musical whisks you away and takes you to a wintery wonderland where lullabies and tap dances reign supreme. The audience are enthralled thanks to the intimate feeling which is somehow created in the vast cavern of the Dominion Theatre. 

The story is nothing special and there's really very little of it but there's a level of characterisation which runs deep throughout and makes the audience really care about the action and people on stage and brings a contemporary feel to an otherwise un-relatable musical. For example, Martha, Judy and Betty sing 'Falling Out of Love Can Be Fun' which highlights their desire to not being completely reliant on men. In another vein, the vulnerability of Bob (Danny Mac) is shown thoughtfully and delicately. Whilst at first he appears distant and uncaring, it soon becomes clear that he is struggling to rejoin civilian life. These human characteristics are realistically brought to stage with great effect. 

The cast of all round triple threats provide enough energetic festive cheer to power all the Christmas lights in London. Clare Halse is a theatrical treasure as she draws the eye every moment she's on stage and is the epitome of Hollywood glamour. Her performance is faultless as she glides around and radiates excellence. Halse also gives a dazzling tap performance of 'I Love a Piano' alongside Dan Burton and the ensemble. Burton as Phil is equal measures charm and sleaze as well as giving top top top notch vocals and choreographic quality. Danny Mac once again gives a faultless performance and has a great love/hate chemistry with Danielle Hope as Betty. Their blossoming romance is lovely to watch just another level of sweetness in this candy-cane-sugary musical.

Michael Brandon is commanding but vulnerable as General Henry Waverly, whilst, Brenda Edwards is a compelling force of comedic nature as Martha and provides a real show stopping moment with 'Let Me Sing and I'm Happy'. The ensemble are unanimously joyous and captivating throughout, with Aimée Hodnett and Kayleigh Thadani giving stand out performances as the ditzy, amorous Rhoda and Rita.

This is a visually exquisite musical which is the embodiment of production value. Diego Pitarch's sumptuous costumes not only look beautiful on their own, but float and flow divinely as part of Stephen Mear's choreography which is elegance and style wrapped up with a bow. The post-war era is brought to life glitteringly, as is the music of Irving Berlin which soars and fills the Dominion.

It's not about the story and of course there are faults as with many classic films but this is an utterly lavish production which will fill even the Grinch's heart with Christmas cheer. 

photo credit: Johan Persson

White Christmas the Musical, Dominion Theatre | Review

Tuesday 26 November 2019

Sunday 7 October 2018

Bat Out of Hell, Dominion Theatre | Review

Bat Out of Hell
Dominion Theatre
Reviewed on Thursday 4th October 2018 by Becca Cromwell

All Revved Up with somewhere to go, I was excited as I made my way to the Dominion Theatre to see one of my favourite musicals, Bat Out of Hell.

Bat Out of Hell is a jukebox musical based on the music made famous by the beloved Meatloaf, written by Jim Steinman. Featuring hits such as Two Out of Three Ain't Bad, Paradise by the Dashboard Light and its namesake Bat Out of Hell, it's a larger than life extravaganza, perfect for fans of Steinman/Meatloaf.

The electric Bat Out of Hell burst onto the theatre scene in early 2017 when it opened in Manchester. Since then it has been through a number of iterations, making its West End debut at the London Coliseum last summer, performing a run in Toronto and returning to London at its current home, the Dominion Theatre. The show is also set to take off on a US tour as well as other productions worldwide.

The story (or lack of) is set in Obsidian; a post-apocalyptic version of Manhattan, which has been ravaged by chemical wars. These caused a group of teens (the Lost) to become frozen at the age of 18. The main story focuses on Strat, the leader of the Lost and Raven, the daughter of Falco, the tyrannical leader of the city. The two fall in love a la Romeo and Juliet, and the rest is history. 

The plot is based on both Romeo and Juliet and Peter Pan, but the whole thing is very thin. If you go to this show wanting a proper story, you will be let down, but if you go into it for the spectacular aspects of amazing performances and unreal special effects then you'll love it.

Christina Bennington leads the stellar cast as the rebellious teen Raven, alongside Jordan Luke Gage who recently took over the role of the blond haired, blue eyed, black hearted, Strat. Both give wonderful performances and have great chemistry with one another. Like the entire company, Jordan and Christina both have exceptional vocal skill. On this particular performance, Zahara was played by Rhianne-Louise McCaulsky, who was astounding, and Ledoux was played by Sam Toland, who gave a fantastic performance. As Raven’s parents Falco and Sloane are Rob Fowler and Sharon Sexton, who both give outstanding performances, and add comedic elements which are highly entertaining.

The ensemble really bring the show together with pitch perfect harmonies and notes to die for. My personal favourite part of the show is Objects In The Rearview Mirror, where the ensemble bring me to tears with their heartfelt performances.

During this performance there appeared to be some microphone issues but these were only minor and did not distract much from the fantastic performances.

From start to finish this show is a hit. The vocals are flawless and Emma Portner's choreography (as wacky as some of it is) is phenomenal. Each and every person in this show is a superstar. The lack of story is certainly made up for by the intensity and emotion with which the full cast perform.

With the show remaining in London until January 2019, and a major US tour about to begin, I thoroughly recommend Bat Out of Hell for an entertaining night out.

For tickets and information about the show, visit

photo credit: Specular

Bat Out of Hell, Dominion Theatre | Review

Sunday 7 October 2018

Wednesday 29 August 2018

Bat Out of Hell Sing-along, Dominion Theatre

Bat Out of Hell | Sing-along
Dominion Theatre
Reviewed on Tuesday 28th August 2018 by Olivia Mitchell 

I'm going to start this post by saying it's not really going to be a review but more of a babbling-praise-fest for the amazing team at Bat Out of Hell and the fantastic sense of community they have created over their various runs.

It's no secret that I wasn't the biggest Bat fan when I first saw it at the Coliseum, but since then, something has changed and I just can't get enough of the show.  Sure, the story is lacking but the performances and intricacies of every element just make it a complete extravaganza for all the senses and you can't help but feel energised and elated every time you see it. I certainly don't think the show is everyone's cup of tea, but if you go into it ready to be shocked, wowed and dazzled, then there's not much that can go wrong. 

I've raved about them on twitter and praised them vastly in my previous posts about the show, but last night's sing-along just brought to light again, the incredible talents of the entire Bat cast. Whilst not everyone in the audience was singing along (the lady next to us told us to stop, so we just sang LOUDER) those that were, were giving it their all just like the cast do every night (minus all the dancing, quick changes and acting they do on top). My friends and I were going pretty full out in our sing-along "performances" but were giving no where near the energy and precision the cast provide night after night and we were still exhausted. This just highlights further the immense talent and stamina of the cast who perform night after night, giving it 150%; I truly believe you'd be hard-pressed to find a more well-rounded, powerful cast in the West End. 

The sing-along itself was a wonderful thing to be a part of; I've been trying (and failing) to be a bit subtle about my adoration for Bat but last night I fully embraced the love and fangirling. With a small screen above the stage and a couple of others dotted round the theatre displaying lyrics, it was clearly shown which songs the audience were invited to sing along to. Much of the audience seemed to come out of their shells and start belting for their lives in Act 2, with Objects In The Rearview Mirror and I Would Do Anything For Love being clear audience/fan favourites. The microphones being turned up also meant that none of the cast's vocals were missed and we were still able to bask in the beauty of their voices. These sing-along performances not only give fans a chance to live their best lives, singing along whilst hearing their favourite songs live, but also puts the message out clearly that the normal shows are not for people to sing at. When you pay for a ticket to the theatre, you want to hear the performers sing, not someone next to you, so these special performances provide the perfect outlet and are a happy medium for everyone.

The Bat community are a wonderful family, that's for sure. I have only recently gotten into the show but have been welcomed in with open arms and have experienced the kindness and generosity of the fans several times already. The fans support not only the cast and show itself, but each other. A number of people at the singalong had met through the show and bonded over their love for it, so to see and hear them celebrate that was truly magical to be a part of. I expect the future singalongs and the upcoming last show of Patrick Sullivan and Andrew Polec will continue to highlight the fantastically dedicated community and show how music and theatre can really bring people together.

I'm aware this post really has very little content and is just me putting my post-show Bat thoughts out into the world but I felt I had to write something because the sing-along has made me feel so energised, inspired and content. The generosity of the cast with both their talent and time is fantastically motivational to see. I personally find stage-dooring very awkward but find myself drawn to it at Bat, purely to gush at the cast about how amazing they are. Despite having been rehearsing all day, performing a show a preparing for a double show day, the cast members who came out were so gracious and giving of their time. It's been discussed many times before that casts don't owe coming out and chatting/signing to any audience members, but it is great when a cast so clearly appreciate the people who support them and their show.

If you get the chance to see a normal show or a sing-along, you should grab it with open arms. If you haven't seen Bat Out of Hell before, go into it with an open mind and I am sure you'll leave feeling elated. If you have seen it before, then you know what to expect and can just relish in the pure spectacle of it all! 

Shoutout to the cast and crew at BOOH for bringing this sing-along to life and also to the producers who have stepped up the game continually with this show by trying new things and always finding ways to include and give back to those who support the show. 

I am a mixture of larynx pain and adrenaline but couldn't be happier to have been a part of this exhilarating and special show... can I say I've played Raven now I've belted out It's All Coming Back to Me Now at the Dominion!?

Further Bat Out of Hell sing-along performances are taking place on September 25th, October 31st, November 27th and December 31st and the show is booking until January 5th.

Bat Out of Hell Sing-along, Dominion Theatre

Wednesday 29 August 2018

Sunday 24 June 2018

In Conversation With... Xena Gusthart | Bat Out of Hell | Interview | Stagey Sunday

Welcome to the fourth and final week of Bat Out of Hell Stagey Sunday (boo!) To close up we have TWO new posts. 

Firstly we have this interview with Bat's resident choreographer, Xena Gusthart. Xena told us all about the choreography, the cast and even showed us some of the amazing costumes in the show! 

Our second post is an interview with a whole load of cast members  with questions by all the amazing Bat fans, so be sure to check that out here.

To finish with a bang, we have a giveaway for you to win 2 tickets to Bat Out of Hell* To enter, RT this tweet and send us your best Bat look whether it be a makeover, an Andrew Polec impression, your own Bat choreography... the more creative the better!

1) This entitles the prize winner to two tickets to Bat Out of Hell the Musical at the Dominion Theatre.
2) Prize to be redeemed by Thursday 23rd August 2018.
3) Valid on Monday to Thursday performances only
4) Tickets are subject to availability.
5) No cash alternative.
6) Travel to and from the theatre and any additional expenses incurred are not included within this prize.

In Conversation With... Xena Gusthart | Bat Out of Hell | Interview | Stagey Sunday

Sunday 24 June 2018

Sunday 10 June 2018

In Conversation with... Andrew Polec and Christina Bennington | Bat Out of Hell | Interview | Stagey Sunday

Hi! Welcome back to Stagey Sunday, where we are focussing on Bat Out of Hell for the entire month of June. This week we have an exclusive interview with Andrew Polec and Christina Bennington about their lives whilst starring in Bat Out of Hell....

For anyone that hasn't seen the show, can you explain a little about the story line and how your characters fit into it?
Andrew: I play Strat, he is the leader of this Lost gang who are all 18 and never age. We're set in this post-apocalyptic world; the island of Manhattan, due to some cataclysmic event has broken off from the rest of the country and floated out to sea. On this island there's a dictator named Falco who Strat is rebelling against and doing his best to liberate the people of Obsidian, give them equality, make them all feel special and give them value in their lives. As he is rebelling against Falco and this violent revolution, he suddenly realises that Falco has a beautiful daughter who's name is Raven...

Christina: We find Raven on the eve of her 18th birthday. She has been watching Strat and the gang of The Lost for basically as long as she can remember. They have all the freedom and liberation that she's always wanted so she eventually manages to escape and meet Strat. From there it's all about love for the two.

Andrew, you were involved in the show from the workshop stage, so what was that like and how was it for you Christina, joining a little later. Did you both know how big the show would end up?
C: Absolutely not! I did I guess an average audition process, I say average in that I got the call from my agent and I went to various rounds, but that was probably where the average ended. There were lots of very interesting movement workshops that we did, I got paired with different people to read the Strat and Raven scenes. We also had stamina tests to see if we could sing the songs multiple days in a row. So I would come in and sing All Coming Back to Me Now, four of five times getting higher and higher and higher, and then come back the next day and do it all again to see if I could sustain it. I thought it was a fantastic challenge- great fun! 

I don't think I ever thought it would be this big and I don't think I ever thought that it would be such a wonderful experience for me, personally and professionally, to grow in the way I perform. It's been really wonderful. It was great also, working with Andrew because he already had the job so wasn't part of the audition process. It was really interesting reading against all the potential alternate Strats but never reading with the actual Strat so it's serendipity that it's all worked out so well.

Do you have any pre-show rituals?
A: I have two posters in my dressing room where I've put all the rock and roll idols that I think inspire the show; there's Jim Morrison, there's Chuck Barry, there's Jimi Hendrix, Meatloaf, Jim Steinman and Iggy Pop. I basically ask that they come and help us on this journey because the show takes a lot of energy, you've got a lot of bodies up there that are burning 10,000 calories a minute!

C: My pre-show ritual is also  really rock and roll... I listen to the Harry Potter audiobooks everyday, every single day. From after warm up until just before the half to kind of calm my brain down. Cause it's something I'm so familiar with it kind of clears my head of everything that's an outside influence. Then once it hits the quarter I play different music everyday that I think Raven would listen to, so then it does become slightly more rock and roll! So from me to Raven really

Have you had any onstage mishaps?
C: Oh yeah! 
A: Tonnes!
C: One the other day was really good. Andrew fell off the tower when he jumped down...
A: Cool, lets just talk about the one where I hurt myself!
C: No but it's brilliant because in this show a mishap often becomes something incredible because Jay (Scheib) has encouraged us to be really free and flexible. In rehearsals he often asked up to include falls on purpose to force ourselves to be really in the moment. If you see the show, you'll notice that I fall over on-purpose-accidentally a lot... it's a real trope for Raven.

A: I think probably the biggest mishap was our first preview ever in Manchester. I had it in my mind that I would run down to the bottom of the stage and bring Christina along with me and I just slipped and we just started flying towards the end of the stage. In Manchester there was just an 8 metre drop  and I knew that if we fell we'd probably not have legs like we have now! Fortunately, Christina grabbed me by the scruff of my neck and kept me from falling.

C: So fans of Andrew Polec, you're welcome!

Bat Out of Hell is so full on, how do you relax and calm down after a show?
C: It is difficult to go to sleep afterwards because it's so exciting. At the end of the show every night there's a massive buzz from the audience, they're on their feet, screaming and you feel like a rockstar with everyone coming together to celebrate this amazing music. I guess I like to eat after the show, watch something good and try and chill out.

A: Yeah, food is nice!

You have a five minute break in rehearsals, what are you doing?
C: I don't wanna say eating again! We're probably chatting about something that's happened in rehearsals. We do tend to talk a lot about constantly looking for ways to do things differently and improve so you'll probably just catch us discussing.

A: Mostly we're walking up the stairs!!

What's your favourite part of each others track?
C: One of my favourite bits ever is after I leave Revved, I stand  at the side, and I watch from the stage left wing and the screen of Hope Rock,  Andrew and the main Lost gang singing the end of Revved. I think it's absolutely incredible and I love it. I think Andrew is a force of nature and I love watching it, it's so exciting and there's so much visceral energy. Raven doesn't ever see that Strat which I think is so wonderful  because she sees a completely other side of him. So it's really interesting for me to see that force.

A: I really, really admire Raven's whole scene in her  bedroom during Heaven Can Wait. If I  have enough time after the interval preparations and can get down to the video screen then I watch the perspective of the camera as she sings the whole song and it's really cool.  She blows it out of the water every night, she remarkable!

Are you like your characters at all?
C: I'd love to say yeah, I'm really cool like Raven  but I guess I can be tempestuous sometimes like she can. The thing about Raven is that she's all about life or death, that first  love that is absolutely everything. In that way I guess we share  something that we both think love is probably the most important thing in life. But the intensity with which she feels it is more like 17 year old me than it is current me.

A: I guess Strat and I are both hopeful. I think what surprises people when they meet me is that I'm more soft spoken than Strat. Considering he just shouts on stage all night, I think when they meet me they're like "where's your high-octane energy?". 

They're certainly characters and they continue to grow and develop everyday that we work on them. They're good friends to have around.

Other than yourselves, who would you like to see play your roles?
A: I think I'd love to Jim Morrison to play this part, I think that would be a lot of fun. Or someone like Elvis would be really fun.

C: Ellen Foley was involved in the first stages of the show playing the Wendy/Raven character so it'd be really cool to see  what she would do with Raven as she is now.

A: You're absolutely right, I mean Jim Steinman hands down should be playing Strat- he's even on the t-shirt.

C: If it had to be someone from the cast I think one of the super swings should have a go. I'd pay good money to see someone like Jono play Raven!

Finally, can you tell me your best piece of advice for anyone wanting to get into performing?
C: I would say, be very sure of yourself and your  strengths and weaknesses. Believe in yourself and your ability because no one else can do that bit for you.

A: Love what you do, no matter what you end up doing. As long as you take joy in your work then you've found the secret of life and you'll be happy.

C: and be nice!

Watch the full interview plus some fun games here:

Thank you Holly for organising all of this, Andrew and Christina for filming with us, Sophia for being camera woman extraordinaire and all the lovely staff at the Dominion Theatre.

Join us next week to see Emily Benjamin become her character, Mordema!

Bat Out of Hell is currently at the Dominion Theatre until 27th October 2018

Interview by Editor, Olivia Mitchell

photo credit: Specular

In Conversation with... Andrew Polec and Christina Bennington | Bat Out of Hell | Interview | Stagey Sunday

Sunday 10 June 2018

Friday 20 April 2018

Bat Out of Hell, Dominion Theatre | Review

Bat Out of Hell
Dominion Theatre 
Reviewed on Thursday 19th April 2018 by Olivia Mitchell 

Bat is well and truly back and at home in its new space: The Dominion Theatre. When I first saw this show back at it's press night at the Coliseum I wasn't the biggest fan. The performances were outstanding but the book itself really let it down. This time however, I knew what to expect so was ready for a carefree night of relaxed, rocking fun. Obviously the story is still the same (although this time around did feel less cheesy) but if you can overlook its short-fallings you are destined to have an electric night. The show has matured a lot and it's evident that work is continually being done to make it the best show it can be. 

Jim Steinman's rock musical is an electrifying roller-coaster of drama, lights, confetti, and so much more. Everything is thrown together to create a show that's refreshing and really like nothing else currently in the West End. This show is a Romeo and Juliet-esque retelling of Peter Pan. With Strat, the leader of The Lost who's frozen at aged 18, falling in love with Raven, the girl whose dad is the tyrannical ruler of Obsidian and doesn't want her leaving the house, let alone mixing with The Lost. Bat Out of Hell is a wild ride from the opening moment to the final bows.

It's not a stretch to say that the cast of this show are potentially the most talented currently on the West End. There is not a weak link throughout, with every member not only committing themselves fully to the show and looking as though they're truly loving it, but showcasing their outstanding vocals and performing with enough vigour to make us feel as though we're at a rock concert. 

A search call might need to be put out for the roof of the Dominion because Andrew Polec and Christina Bennington's voices completely blew it off last night. The two bounce off each other as if they're electrical currents and their ridiculously powerful voices compliment each other beautifully. Whilst their characters are very archetypal of rebelling teens, they also showcase needs and desires of being a young adult. Raven comes across as an aggressively whiney/needy character which although somewhat grating, is also a wonderful portrayal of what being an 18 year old is like. The constant desire to rebel but remain loved is something which we can all relate to growing up. Strat is larger than life and crazy but completely draws you into his world. The pair are receiving high praise for Bat Out of Hell and I doubt it's the only show they'll be applauded for in the future- they're definitely ones to watch!

Also vocally outstanding is Danielle Steers who once again received an audible gasp from the audience when she sung her first notes of Two Out of Three Ain't Bad. Her voice is sexy, strong and oh-so-powerful; when she joins forces with Wayne Robinson (Jagwire) they create vocal bliss as well as working with each other wonderfully.

As Raven's parents who are fighting to regain their spark, Sharon Sexton (Sloane) and Rob Fowler (Falco) are fantastic. Again they have voices to die for and are suitably wacky in their roles. The duets are stellar and they work fantastically as a pair to complement each other rather than over powering one another. Each of the leads truly command the stage but the ensemble also get a chance to shine, especially during Objects in the Rearview Mirror May Appear Closer Than They Are. Mention must go to Giovanni Spano, Jonathan Cordin, Emily Benjamin and Charlotte Anne Steen who really caught my eye throughout. 

If you were to search for the definition of Energetic,  I wouldn't be surprised if the cast of Bat Out of Hell popped up. Every ensemble moment is full-out and it's amazing how many intricate details are woven in. This is one of those shows that you need to see several times just to pick up every detail; there's action on every inch of space. The innovative use of live-camerawork throughout the show helps pick up these details very cleverly. The screens on either side of the stage and the use of vast projections allows the large space of the Dominion theatre to feel intimate whilst also adding to the futuristic, always being watched, vibe of the show. Jon Bausor has done a wonderful job creating this set and all the surprises included in it. 

Patrick Woodroffee's lighting is blinding and is just what you'd expect and need in a show like this, whilst Emma Portner's choreography is suitably strange and futuristic, with the sharp movements adding to the frenetic energy on stage. 

Everything about Bat Out of Hell is extra and excessive but that's the charm and appeal of it. The story isn't the focus; instead, we get to hear Jim Steinman's rousing music and see it performed with a vigour and drive that seems unattainable for 8 shows a week. What's special is that the cast do attain it and give 110% every show. If you like energetic, fast paced shows then For Crying Out Loud go and see Bat Out of Hell. Below all the lights and drama this is a show about love. From the audience reaction and instantaneous standing ovation when the last note was played, it's clear that a lot of people love this show. I am definitely a Bat convert and thoroughly recommend you see and EXPERIENCE this show for yourself.

Bat Out of Hell runs at the Dominion Theatre until 27th October 2018

photo credit: Specular

Bat Out of Hell, Dominion Theatre | Review

Friday 20 April 2018

Thursday 15 March 2018

Bat Out of Hell, Dominion Theatre | Press Launch

Yesterday afternoon I attended a strobe filled, electrifying press launch for Bat Out of Hell's sure-to-be-triumphant return to the West End as it prepares to take over the Dominion Theatre from April. 

Now I must admit, I didn't adore the show when I saw it at it's Coliseum press night but I think that's because I had no idea what to expect. Seeing the performances yesterday put the show into a new light for me (quite literally) and made me really appreciate the skill and talent that goes into it. It's true that Bat Out of Hell has a very random and vague plot, but this show, the performances and the way its presented is unlike anything currently in the West End and for that it should be applauded. 

The event took place at the American International Church; an out there choice for an out there musical. The brightness and space of the room perfectly showcased the music and the juxtaposition of a rock musical being performed in a church was really very special.

Once the doors opened we were ushered in, handed a branded notebook, pen and lanyard and shown the way to our seats to get a wonderful view of the wild performances. The pews and upstairs area quickly filled up with a selection of excited fans who'd won tickets, as well as press and other guests. For those that couldn't be there, the launch was also live-streamed and as we counted down to go live there was a buzz of excitement in the air.

The event was co-hosted by Planet Rock Radio and their presenter Paul Anthony who stepped out in a flash of light and introduced us to the rocking cast. From then on it was high energy entertainment as the cast performed five songs and showcased their talents brilliantly. The small venue felt like a full-scale arena as it was filled with loud, rock music, dry ice and lots and lots of lights. The cast opened with Bat out of Hell then performed Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad, What Part of My Body Hurts The Most, Dead Ringer for Love and finally, the rousing I Would Do Anything For Love. The cast gave each song their all and seemed to genuinely be loving what they were doing. 

After the performance we were invited to meet Andrew Polec, Christina Bennington, Sharon Sexton and Rob Fowler, we took a very quick photo and briefly congratulated them on their work before heading to the Dominion Theatre for some drinks and a sneak peek at the get in. 

With a cast of 34 and 145 people on the payroll each night, everything about this show is big, including it's set which filled 17 containers and took 5 weeks to get back to London after the shows run in Canada. It was extremely impressive to see the hard work that goes in behind the scenes to make this show what it is and also to see how passionate everyone that's a part of it is.

Despite not being a number one fan of Bat Out of Hell when I made my way to this launch, I can now say that I am more than excited to see the show as its rocks, rolls and rages at it's new home, the Dominion Theatre from April 2nd. The energy, talent, passion and drive from the performers and everyone involved in this show is infectious and is sure to take the West End by storm on it's second run.

If you missed the livestream you can watch it here.

Post written by Olivia Mitchell, Editor

Bat Out of Hell, Dominion Theatre | Press Launch

Thursday 15 March 2018