Bat Out Of Hell : The Musical Review

Rebecca Varidel
28th Jan 2023

On a hot summer night, would you offer your throat to the wolf with the red roses?

You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth (Hot Summer Night) was the first solo single by the American singer Meat Loaf, released in 1977. But did you know, on the album version of Bat Out of Hell, the first single features this spoken word intro by Jim Steinman – originally dialogue for his Peter Pan musical for which the songs on the record were initially written. So, the most intriguing story line for Bat Out Of Hell based on The Lost and set in post-apocalyptic Manhattan chronicles a longer history. In fact the touring Bat Out Hell The Musical dates back even earlier than the Bat Out Of Hell album, right back to 1968 and Jim Steinman's college days.

Jim Steinman wrote all the songs. Actually he wrote the whole rock musical - music, lyrics and book and promoted it as Jim Steinman's Bat Out of Hell: The Musical.

In Sydney last night the ardent Meatloaf Steinman fans clapped along at just the right time. The thrill of the fans was witnessed as their heads bopped along to the well-loved tunes.

This touring production finally arrived in Sydney with a jaw dropping set and staging. Picture this. Underground tunnels, the home of The Lost. Video screens mounted on industrial scaffolding. The rich above ground at home on a mezzanine. And hand-held mikes for all were part of the throw-back brilliance of the staging. 

Glenn Adamson as the forever 18 year old Strat opens the show. He is a rock star, reminiscent of a young Roger Daltry from The Who. Adamson captures every edge of the lost, the tunnels, the post-apocalyptic. Vocally and visually edgy he struts his all.

After interval, nothing tops the title song when head of The Lost, Strat and his girl Raven stand in front of the tunnel, riding a microphone stand. In the heat of the moment with the passing streetscape on the video behind, you would swear they were riding a motorbike.

Rocking the house down was Sharon Sexton as the mother who belted out her numbers from every bone in her rock chic loins. (Could have missed the moment where she spreads her legs.) Outstanding also was Rob Fowler as her husband, Jay Anderson as Jagwire, and Matteo Johnson as Tink. They with all the cast transported us.

Behind them videos showed them performing to the onstage cameras, the angles and focus contorted to give the feel for the era. They clambered the industrial set to the Falco bedroom, and to the live band.

This rock musical could have been utterly brilliant yet it didn't quite shine. The choreography missed a beat; and it could have been edgy and exciting given the time and place in which it is set. However, with our attention drawn to the live videos on the big screen it was less noticeable than it might have been, and did look somewhat better in the out of focus background of the camera.

Talking to the audience after the show, on the stairs of the arena, at the cloak room, pay station, in the lift and parking lot, it was the Meatloaf Steinman fans who loved it most. A definite go to show for the fans.