Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Jim Steinman. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Jim Steinman. Sort by date Show all posts

Thursday, 5 May 2022

Bat Out of Hell Returns to the West End


The producers of Jim Steinman’s Bat Out of Hell – The Musical, featuring Jim Steinman and Meat Loaf’s greatest hits, are delighted to announce the musical’s return to London in 2023. The show, which is currently touring the UK and Ireland, will play a limited season at the Peacock Theatre with performances from 17 February, ending on 1 April 2023.

Bat Out of Hell – The Musical will also have a residency at Paris Las Vegas Hotel & Casino from 27 September 2022.

Casting for both productions to be announced.

Bat Out of Hell – The Musical wowed critics and public alike when it played limited seasons at Manchester Opera House, London Coliseum and London’s Dominion Theatre from 2017 to 2019. The musical also ran successfully in Canada, Germany and at New York’s City Centre in 2019. The current UK and Ireland tour began performances at Manchester Opera House on 11 September 2021 and has been playing to sold out houses and great critical acclaim.

Bat Out of Hell – The Musical won the Radio 2 Audience Award for Best Musical at the Evening Standard Awards and was nominated for 8 WhatsOnStage Awards, including Best New Musical. Bat Out of Hell became one of the best-selling albums in history, selling over 60 million copies worldwide. 16 years later, Steinman scored again with Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell, which contained the massive hit I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That).

For the stage musical, the legendary and award-winning Jim Steinman incorporated iconic songs from the Bat Out of Hell albums, including You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth (Hot Summer Night), Bat Out of Hell, I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That) and Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad, as well as two previously unreleased songs, What Part of My Body Hurts the Most and Not Allowed to Love.

The electrifying rock songs of Mr Steinman propel an epic story of rebellious youth and passion as Strat, the immortal leader of The Lost, has fallen in love with Raven, the beautiful daughter of the tyrannical ruler Falco.

The UK & Ireland Tour of Bat Out of Hell - The Musical has book, music and lyrics by Jim Steinman, direction by Jay Scheib, choreography adapted by Xena Gusthart, with musical supervision and additional arrangements by Michael Reed, set and costume design by Jon Bausor, original costume designs by Meentje Nielsen, original wig designs by Linda McKnight, video design by Finn Ross, lighting design by Patrick Woodroffe, sound design by Gareth Owen, orchestration by Steve Sidwell, original casting by David Grindrod CDG and UK Tour casting by Anne Vosser.

Bat Out of Hell – The Musical is produced by David Sonenberg, Michael Cohl & Tony Smith, with executive producer Julian Stoneman.

This tour is dedicated to the memory of Jim Steinman, who sadly passed away on 19 April 2021, and Meat Loaf, who passed away on 20 January 2022.

Twitter, Facebook & Instagram: @BatTheMusical

photo credit: Chris Davis Studio

Sunday, 22 July 2018

In Conversation With... Jordan Luke Gage and Christina Bennington | Bat Out of Hell | Interview

Hello Bat Out of Hell fans! You've may have thought the Bat content was over with Bat Month done and the leading ladies' Stagey Guide to Singing posted, but fear not because we have another interview with Christina Bennington aka Raven and Jordan Luke Gage aka alternate Strat! 




You’ve been in the show since the beginning, what’s something memorable from each city you’ve been to? 
Christina Bennington: I’ve been very lucky to have settled in different cities with the show. In Manchester, it was wonderful to experience Jon’s incredible set for the first time and really find our feet. Sometimes literally on that mountain. The Coliseum standing ovation on the last night and our crazy exit stunt was a ‘pinch me’ career moment. Our fans are incredible and it felt like a real party for us all together. In Canada we had a wonderful time with our audiences. We had been told they would be ‘more polite’ but I guess we had all the rockstars in the audience. We certainly felt welcomed with huge warmth there. 


What’s it like going back to your ensemble after playing Strat? Are you always wanting to sing the Strat track? 
Jordan Luke Gage: Being able to perform two parts each week is a blessing because it keeps the performances fresh for me. Every time I get to play Strat it feels like opening night again which is thrilling. My ensemble track dances more than Strat so it’s nice to have that difference in the shows - one day I get to sing these epic songs and play this larger than life rockstar and the next I get to sweat it out in the ensemble. 

Christina and Jordan as Raven and Strat | Photo Credit @EllieLoolaVlogs 

Which ensemble characters would you like to play? 
Christina: Denym and Spinotti. When I grow up, I want to be Isaac Edwards. The way he makes the choreography his own and embellishes and fills in between the steps is inspirational. He’s one of the characters I interact and connect with the most. I’d love to be able to express myself physically the way he does. I also absolutely love Spinotti. Natalie Chua has made her so feisty and interesting. She is an integral part of the Lost – especially as a fighter! 


What’s your favourite song to perform as Strat? 
Jordan: Ooo tricky question! Obviously I love performing Bat Out of Hell. The way the song builds allows you to feel like you’re on this crazy adventure which results in totally pouring your heart out on stage and squeezing out every ounce of energy in your body. You feel totally liberated and bare on stage and it’s a beautiful feeling! 

I also LOVE For Crying Out Loud. Jim Steinman’s lyrics exude passion and colour and Michael Reed’s arrangement takes you to another world. When I got the audition through for the show, this was the first song I listened to on the soundtrack and my heart rate went out the roof! I knew that I had to be in this show! 


Can you tell us about any fun cut scenes from the show? 
Christina: I really loved singing (and dancing) It Just Won’t Quit. That’s an absolute favourite of mine that’s been cut. It’s wonderful that the show is constantly evolving and growing. Maybe I’ll just have to sing it at a concert sometime… 


How do you maintain your vocal health singing the intense Steinman music every night? 
Jordan: It’s so important to rest! I can’t function without at least 8/9 hours sleep each night and lack of sleep really affects your voice so this is key! Also, hydrate! I drink water constantly throughout the day, at least 4 litres a day. Also I never sleep with the heating on in my room and always have the window open - this might just be a myth, but having natural air flow when you sleep stops you drying out! 


What’s your favourite Raven outfit? 
Christina: I love them all but I have a special place in my heart for the birthday party dress. It’s a beautiful handmade couture dress and I love that it’s playful and girly but with a harder edge. The net detail looks like feathers so it’s the biggest nod to a raven. I also wear a very cool raven ring with it. 

photo credit: Specular 

Raven’s wedding dress is gorgeous but is only seen briefly. Can you tell us a little about it? 
Christina: I’m so grateful that our creatives have taken our input seriously on this show. It’s a true collaboration. When Jon was creating the wedding dress he asked me what I needed from it. I knew I wanted it to still have a lot of movement. Raven always needs to be able to run and jump, no matter what she’s wearing. We started with a full length white dress and Jon pulled up parts of it and started pinning to create texture. We played with it and adjusted the bodice until it felt right. 


What do you think makes the show appeal you both old and new fans of Jim Steinman/Meatloaf? 
Christina: Jim’s music is epic and bombastic. It’s full of joy and sadness, energy and feeling. My mum tells me you can’t help but leave full of joy. I think people come back time and time again to feel that high. 

I certainly agree with that! If you're wondering what rocking, wild, exhilarating show to see this summer then Bat Out of Hell should definitely be your first choice! A huge thank you as always to Jordan and Christina for chatting to us and to everyone who sent in questions for them both.

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

Post by Editor, Olivia Mitchell

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Bat Out of Hell, London Coliseum | Review


Bat Out of Hell
London Coliseum
Reviewed Tuesday 20th June 2017 by Olivia Mitchell

★★★

Let's make one thing clear: this show is epically crazy. Jim Steinman's rock musical is like nothing else currently on any West End stage. It feels like a rollercoaster ride where things are constantly being thrown at you from every direction: the great, the good, the bad and the ugly sides of rock music are all thrown together to create a show like no other.

The new show based on the music of Jim Steinman tells a Romeo and Juliet-esque tale mixed with Peter Pan themes and a whole lot of randomness. If you don't like out there shows then this definitely isn't for you but if you're up for a wild ride then stick around. The songs have very little relevance to the storyline and it kind of feels like an excuse to put on a massive budget concert every night but somehow they kind of fit and work in the context. Each one is performed so much energy and excitement that you can forgive them for not technically fitting in. Each song works as it's own performance instead of fitting perfectly into an overall narrative.

Bat Out of Hell is set in a sort of dystopian world where a man named Falco rules a derelict, broken city where 'The Lost', a bunch of genetic mutants who don't age past 18, live in their underground lair known as 'The Deep End'. The leader of this mutant group is  Strat who despite barely knowing her, is head over heels in love with Falco's daughter, Raven who longs to escape her boring life. One fateful night Strat visits her room and from there on we fall down the rabbit hole of craziness and things get even more mental. I did say it was crazy! Overall I would describe it as a rock retelling of Peter Pan through the eyes of someone who's had a few too many!

Whilst the writing of the show isn't stellar and there are faults with it, the cast are a talented bunch indeed, with voices that raise the roof. Andrew Polec as Strat and Christina Bennington as Raven have great chemistry, although it is particularly cheesy at times they work well together and their booming voices compliment one another very nicely. The pairs voices are stunning and goosebump inducing. Another cast member who will give you chills is Danielle Steers (Zahara) who received a gasp from the audience when she sung her first solo notes. Danielle's voice is strong and sexy and when she joins with Dom Hartley-Harris (Jagwire), especially in Act 2, they really create a magical vocal moment. 

As Raven's parents who have fallen out of love and are trying to regain their spark, Rob Fowler and Sharon Sexton (Sloane) are outstanding. They are witty and suitably mental with their performance of "Paradise By The Dashboard Light" becoming it's own mini show within the show. Both their voices have the right amount of attitude and drama to command the stage and ring out above the ensemble.

Jon Bausor's set is mental, with fire balls, motorbikes and so many more surprises to always keep you on your toes. The use of screens is extremely clever, not only mimicking the screens you get at a concert but also acting as a kind of cctv camera, showing us close up action which we wouldn't normally see- it really reminded me of Robert Icke's Hamlet.

The pyrotechnics are intense but not so overdone that they become gimmicky. Emma Portner's choreography fits the weird world of the show but is a somewhat weird mix of things, conjuring up Michael Jackson "Thriller" vibes mixed with Maddie Ziegler's iconic dances for Sia. It's sharp and popping and fills the vast stage of the London Coliseum well. Patrick Woodroffee's lighting is eccentric and blinding, the exact lighting you expect from a rock concert. But as the Coliseum is smaller than an arena, the bright lights are exemplified and add to the psychedelic experience.

Now this definitely isn't a masterpiece of musical theatre but it is a jaw-dropping spectacle that really has to be seen to be believed. There are more than just moments of gold and flashes of light- it's an extravangaza for the eyes and ears which will definitely leave you feeling something?!

Bat Out of Hell runs at the London Coliseum until 22nd August 2017.

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

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

Sunday, 24 June 2018

In Conversation With... The Cast of Bat Out of Hell | Interview | Stagey Sunday


Welcome to the last week of Bat Out of Hell, Stagey Sunday! We're going out with a bang with TWO new posts. The first is an interview and look at some of the costumes with resident choreographer, Xena Gusthart which you can see here. This post is an interview with a selection of cast members with questions asked by you! Some answers are still coming in so you may just get a bonus Bat post later this week so keep an eye out!


What do you think makes the show appeal you both old and new fans of Jim Steinman/Meatloaf? 
Rob Copeland (BatFish): The beauty of Jim Steinman’s music is that it hits you on the first listen and then has you hooked. So whether you are new to the music, or an old fan, you are almost guaranteed to leave musically satisfied. His music is so diverse and rich that it’s verging on a rock opera, hence him regularly being dubbed the Wagner of rock. For those who love the albums, it’s the beauty of seeing these story heavy songs brought to life on stage that you have been picturing all these years and, let’s face it, we are incredibly lucky to get to do it on an totally epic scale of set and general production. We regularly get spontaneous applause in the middle of the song Bat Out Of Hell and we are only half way through! 

Rob Fowler (Falco): Our show appeals to all generations because there are misunderstood teenagers and dysfunctional marriages in all walks of life therefore I feel that the audiences of our show really identify with our characters. 

Wayne Robinson (Jagwire): The variety in talent, the cast bring so much diversity to the show and there's something for everyone who loves a live show. 

Sharon Sexton (Sloane): People have a huge connection with this music. Jim captures emotions musically like no one else I know. His songs are like rollercoasters that bring you on an epic journey. Just when you think a number is ending there is another twist and a new feeling. Also his lyrics are poetry and often deal with the idea of eternal youth and growing old and trying to hang on to what keeps us human. I think this type of storytelling brings older people back to their youth, giving them that taste of nostalgia and I think it equally appeals to young people who are just starting to get a sense of their own life. Wow. That’s deep. But that’s what makes his music special and makes this show appeal to so many generations. 


What’s your favourite song to sing and what’s your favourite song that you don’t sing? 
Danielle Steers (Zahara): Favourite song to sing aside from the obvious Two Out Of Three, my fave song is actually Rock and Roll Dreams! I get goosebumps every night singing that final chorus out front and seeing the audience, it’s such an incredible feeling! 

Favourite song I don’t sing, would have to be It’s All Coming Back To Me Now, I love the harmonies and sing along backstage all the time! It’s so powerful! 


Can you sum up having Giovanni as a partner every night in 5 words? 
Charlotte Anne Steen (Liebeswooosh): I’d sum Gio up as a dance partner/love interest in 5 words as... reliable, consistent, fun, passionate and caring. We have a lot of fun on stage and I’m very lucky to have him as my partner. 


You’ve recently opened an online store selling your art, do you have any other hidden talents? 
Danielle Steers: Hidden talents? Hmmm, I bake, I play the piano, I sew, I’m good at cleaning.... I’m the perfect housewife really! 


In Batchat you mentioned putting salt in Rob’s mouth on April Fools… can you expand on that story…? 
Sharon Sexton: Um, no. ;-) 

Basically there was a part in Who Needs the Young where I used to place my hand across Rob’s mouth when he sung a big note, and then I’d say my line before taking my hand away. Sometimes if he was feeling cheeky he’d lick my hand while it was there. So on April fools day, in the wings there happened to be some vaseline & some salt sachets ...and well - he got his commupance. But he gave as good as he got. I think in Paradise I ended up with a mouthful of chocolate... 


If you could change one thing about Falco, what would it be? 
Rob Fowler: If I could change one thing about Falco, it would be that the incident with Tink does not occur. 


How is your Jagwire similar/different to others? 
Wayne Robinson: I’ve never seen or heard the previous Jagwires so I can't comment on the finer details of similarity or difference. However we are similar when it comes to the book and score and completely different when it comes to costume who I thank John the designer for.  He's done such an awesome job. 


Do any of you have ideas about the backstory of your characters?
Rob Copeland: Well we sell a beer front of house that The Lost have made to fund their life style. My character (BatFish) is first seen in the on stage Dive Bar so I like the idea that he runs that operation. Essentially he is a party animal who brews his own beer and sells it to support The Lost. 

Rob Fowler: My ideas of the backstory for Falco is as simple as he was once part of The Lost and he had to grow up when his wife fell pregnant with their daughter Raven. 

Wayne Robinson: I'm quite similar to Jag in reality when it comes to his passions and even the way he conducts himself, I pretty much just play a younger version of myself each night, if I had any ideas to share it would be aspects and events from my own past but I won't share those yet. 

Sharon Sexton: I think Sloane has hardened in her ageing and with life. She’s lost a lot of her sparkle when we meet her. In my mind she was a wild free spirited feisty rebel, and we see glimpses of it. I see her having a very tested relationship with her parents, particularly her father which is why seeing Falco and Raven struggle upsets her so much. And is what eventually brings her back home. 


What’s the average number of costume changes per person? 
Rob Copeland: I have seven costume changes in the show, and actually appear in one song twice as two different characters... (I will let the shows super fans work out which one that is), so actually it’s not too bad a show for costume changes for me. I know my mates doing Les Mis round the corner from us have a lot more than that in act 1 alone, so I can’t complain really! Plus we have an amazing team of dressers, wardrobe and wigs who make it all painless and easy. We would be lost without them (no pun intended). 

Rob Fowler: I’m confident in saying I probably have the most challenging costume changes during the show. In total 12. 

Sharon Sexton: Oh gosh no idea. For me 9. 


The show is constantly evolving, how often do you have rehearsals for changes? 
Rob Fowler: Normally changes with the new show will be rehearsed before the opening and during the previews. 

Sharon Sexton: The show has kind of settled now. Usually we don’t ever change anything for the sake of change. Something has to be not working for a long time and discussed and edited and tested before we will even attempt to put anything different in so I think we won’t see any changes for a while. Though we are constantly in rehearsing covers, promos and events. 

Wayne Robinson: There's always some tweaking going on every so often. 


What’s your favourite costume you wear? 
Sharon Sexton: Pencil skirt and red silk blouse and belt. In it she feels strong but still womanly and I adore those power shoes. 


What’s the funniest thing that’s happened to you on stage? 
Charlotte Anne Steen: I got hit straight in the stomach by the dolls head that Rob Fowler bats across the stage in Land of the Pig- I turned around and saw everyone trying not to laugh at me as I was lying there pretending to be injured! 


What’s the hardest part of the show for you? 
Sharon Sexton: Vocals. Particularly, All Coming Back to Me Now. Myself and Christina Bennington had to find a key to suit us both that meant the song wasn’t too low for her but not too high for me, so it’s in a key that tests both of us and it’s now higher than the original key - so it’s right at the top of my belt and an extremely long note which myself and rob has to work very hard to sustain matching time, breath, support and emotion. 


If you could swap costumes with anyone, who would you choose? 
Charlotte Anne Steen: I’d swap costumes with Mordema played by Emily Benjamin, I like the silver futuristic look of her costume. 


What’s your funniest stage door experience been? 
Rob Copeland: Well… there are two cast members called Rob... myself and the wonderful actor who plays Falco, Rob Fowler. I understudy Rob and we have similar facial hair/colour etc so I can see why this happened…A few weeks ago I left stage door, turned right immediately and walked briskly as usual to get home (I have a one year old daughter who has me up early so tend to try to get home as quickly as possible after the show ends). 

A woman chased after me shouting: “Rob! Rob! Please will you sign my programme, I have seen the show lots of times now and I never manage to grab you and I think you are brilliant!” 

I blush with a smile agreeing to sign her programme whilst pretending not to love that someone has finally clocked how ruddy brilliant I am as BatFish! It’s a miracle (considering I have no solo lines in the show..) 

She opens it up and points towards Rob Fowler’s photo in the programme. 

I then awkwardly have to explain that my name is Rob but I am not THAT Rob and she then very half-heartedly asked me to sign my biog clearly to make me feel less bad about myself...even though she wasn’t that bothered and was looking over her shoulder for the real Rob Fowler throughout... Excellent! Haha. 

Rob Fowler: Coolest experience at the stage door all the fans singing happy birthday to me! 

Sharon Sexton: Um probably when I’m not recognised at all and I offer to take photos of the others 


What are some of the good and bad traits of your character? 
Rob Fowler: Good and bad traits of my character, would be on one side he’s overprotective and on the other side everything he does is due to the amount of love he has for his family. 

Wayne Robinson: Jag has no bad traits he's pure love 

Sharon Sexton: Good- She has a heart of gold underneath the frosty. She sees the good in everyone. She doesn’t hold a grudge. And she’s a peacemaker. 

Bad - she’s too soft sometimes. She is a little spoilt. She’s a bit vain and material things matter too much to her. 


How do you maintain your vocal health singing the intense Steinman music every night? 
Rob Copeland: Well we have a 15 minute vocal warm up every day which I make sure I do thoroughly and it’s other than that it’s just stamina that we have built up over time. When we first started rehearsals my voice was very tired every evening, but I have a pretty solid vocal technique now so have yet to experience any vocal problems. I also drink what feels like about 400 litres of water during every show and have cut down on alcohol intake as that can dry your voice out. I try and eat fairly well also. If you have a healthy diet it will only have a positive effect on your voice. We also have regular vocal sessions with our shows vocal coach Fiona McDougal and she really is excellent. 

Rob Fowler: To be able to sing Jim Steinman songs in the original key eight shows a week half of the challenge is being born with the ability, the second half of the challenge is taking care, this being as cliche and boring as it comes, steam, drink water, sleep, eat healthy and exercise. The show may only last three hours but the work starts before we get to the theatre 

Wayne Robinson: Careful warm up and not talking just to be talking. 

Sharon Sexton: Warm up is key for me. I can tell everything when I warm up, exactly how I need to pace myself and what I need to do mouth shape wise to get through if I’m tired. Also I drink water and start getting ready at least two hours before the show. Tongue muscle massage and steam only when necessary. Other than its muscle memory. 


Can you sum up your fans in one word? 
Rob Copeland: I have never been in a show with such passionate fans. It’s really amazing to see. There is something about this show that people really feel is personal to them, and I love being part of that. 

Rob Fowler: To sum up the fans in one word we have to be ... outstanding... but aren’t we all :-) 

Wayne Robinson: I'd say the fans are loyal 

Sharon Sexton: Inspiring 

A huge thank you to the cast, crew and everyone at Bat for being part of this episode and the whole series. I hope you've enjoyed Bat Out of Hell Stagey Sunday!

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!

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

Post by Editor, Olivia Mitchell

Photo credit: Specular

*T&C’s:
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.

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 https://www.londonboxoffice.co.uk

photo credit: Specular