Everything you need to know about 'Bat Out of Hell' in the West End
From how to get Bat Out of Hell tickets to when to see it in London, here’s your ultimate guide to Bat Out of Hell
If you would do anything for love – and to get to see Meat Loaf and Jim Steinman’s jaw-dropping rock musical – then you’re in luck: Bat Out of Hell is roaring back into the West End in 2023. You can find paradise by the dashboard light at the Peacock Theatre from February, as the show makes a triumphant return to London as part of an exciting new tour.
Teeming with incredible Meat Loaf songs, such as “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That)”, “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now” and “Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad”, Bat Out of Hell also has an equally epic story and staging to match, translating the raw emotion and thunderous power of the music into drama. Plus big special effects (think motorbikes, fire and explosions!) and high stakes. Can the star-crossed lovers find their happy ending – and change the world? You’ll need to see Bat Out of Hell to find out!
What is Bat Out of Hell about?
The show plunges us into a dystopian world (the city of Obsidian, formerly Manhattan) where a gang called The Lost have been frozen in time: they are eternal teenagers. Their leader Strat falls in love with Raven, who just happens to be the daughter of his great enemy – the business tycoon Falco, who plans to destroy The Lost’s home in the old subways and tunnels and build new housing instead.
However, the musical also shows us another side of Falco, via his wife Sloane, who reminds him of his own wild youth. Meanwhile, Strat has to deal with divisions among The Lost, partly due to jealousy over his relationship with Raven. The show balances heartfelt romance and family relationships with explosive action sequences, including a motorbike crash, an abduction, and a thrilling showdown. There are elements of Peter Pan and Romeo and Juliet – plus an operatic, rock ‘n’ roll drama that is completely unique to Bat Out of Hell.
Where is Bat Out of Hell playing?
Bat Out of Hell is playing at the Peacock Theatre in London’s West End from February-April 2023; the production is part of a major new UK and Europe tour. The Peacock Theatre is Sadler’s Wells’s prestigious West End venue, and is situated on Portugal Street, just off Kingsway, near to the Royal Opera House and numerous other West End theatres on Drury Lane and the Strand.
How long is Bat Out of Hell?
The Bat Out of Hell running time is 2 hours and 40 minutes, including one 15-minute interval. That’s about the average run time for a big West End musical – and with Bat Out of Hell, you definitely get an epic spectacle.
What days is Bat Out of Hell playing?
Bat Out of Hell plays eight performances a week at the Peacock Theatre: evening performances every day from Monday-Saturday, and matinees on Wednesday and Saturday. To get the latest information on the performance schedule and show times, visit the Bat Out of Hell page on London Theatre.
When did Bat Out of Hell premiere?
Jim Steinman held a workshop of the musical in New York in 2015. Two years later, in February 2017, Bat Out of Hell finally made its world premiere at Manchester Opera House – and, after a successful start there, moved to the London Coliseum in June 2017. It then transferred to another West End venue, the Dominion Theatre, in April 2018 due to public demand. That Dominion run was extended twice and the show broke box office records after selling £350,000 worth of tickets on the very first day.
Bat Out of Hell made its North American premiere in Toronto in October 2017, and has since played in Germany and New York. It is currently playing in Las Vegas and Australia, and is touring the UK and Europe – including this new London engagement.
Who wrote Bat Out of Hell?
Bat Out of Hell is a collaboration between American singer Meat Loaf (who rose to fame after appearing in musicals Hair and The Rocky Horror Show) and composer Jim Steinman. The pair met in New York in 1973, when Meat Loaf auditioned for Steinman’s More Than You Deserve at the Public Theater, and they began working on a futuristic version of the classic Peter Pan story, then entitled Neverland.
The material then became an album instead, but it was too idiosyncratic for most record labels, who flatly rejected it. Finally, in 1975, Todd Rundgren produced Bat Out of Hell, which eventually found an ecstatic audience: the trilogy has sold more than 65 million copies worldwide, and every year it still sells around 200,000 copies. Now, their original vision is being realised with the triumphant stage production of Bat Out of Hell.
Bat Out of Hell Characters
The lead characters in this larger-than-life show have become iconic figures to fans. They’re both otherworldly and identifiable people from our lives – parents, friends, lovers. Read on to find out more about the Bat Out of Hell characters you’ll meet on stage in this London production.
Strat: Strat is the hero of the show. His DNA froze when he was 18, so he will never age – but he’s more thoughtful, poetic and mysterious than your average teenager. Strat is the de facto leader of The Lost, and he meets Raven during a protest outside Falco Towers and falls in love with her, sparking many of the events of the show.
Raven: Raven turns 18 during the story, but she’s much more naïve than Strat as she’s spent her life shut away in Falco Towers. She has a combative relationship with her father, Falco, since she wants more freedom, and has grown to resent her life in this gilded cage. Meeting Strat opens her up to a whole other world.
Falco: Falco is the antagonist of the show. He’s the CEO of Falco Industries, and he has tyrannical tendencies, using his own private army to battle protestors like The Lost and get his own way. Although Raven views him as cruel, he’s really determined to protect her – and thinks Strat is a danger to her. But he was actually a wild child himself once, just like Raven and Strat.
Sloane: Sloane is Falco’s wife and Raven’s mother. She is increasingly disillusioned in her marriage, hating how Falco has become such a violent, uncompromising dictator. She deals with her feelings by drinking, occasionally berating Falco, and encouraging Raven to pursue freedom and adventure – since she herself feels trapped.
Tink: Tink is a member of The Lost, but because his DNA froze when he was younger than the rest of the group, they all view him as a child. It initially seems like his resentment of Raven is due to him feeling abandoned by his close friend Strat, but we come to understand that Tink actually has romantic feelings for him. That leads Tink to a terrible act of betrayal.
Zahara: Another member of The Lost, who also works at Falco Towers as a nurse. That gives her a complicated perspective: she dislikes Falco, but feels more fondly towards Raven and Sloane. She has an on-off relationship with Lost member Jagwire.
Other main characters include Jagwire, who is in love with Zahara, and more members of The Lost, like Tink’s friend Ledoux. One significant recent change is the expansion of the character Valkyrie, Ledoux’s feisty sister, who was previously an ensemble member.
Bat Out of Hell Songs
The show is famous for its incredible rock score, featuring plenty of Meat Loaf songs that you’ll already know and love – like “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That)”, “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now”, and the title track – plus some that you’ll discover during the course of Bat Out of Hell. Here are all the songs:
"Love and Death and an American Guitar" – Strat
"All Revved Up with No Place to Go" / "Wasted Youth" – Strat, Falco, Ledoux, Jagwire and Company
"Who Needs the Young?" – Falco and Sloane
"Out of the Frying Pan And Into the Fire" – Strat, Ledoux, Blake, Tink and Company
"Two Out of Three Ain't Bad" – Zahara and Jagwire
"Paradise by the Dashboard Light" – Falco, Sloane and Company
"Making Love Out of Nothing at All" – Strat and Raven
"Bat Out of Hell" – Strat, Raven and Company
"Heaven Can Wait" – Raven
"Objects in the Rear View Mirror May Appear Closer Than They Are" – Jagwire, Valkyrie, Ledoux and Company
"For Crying Out Loud" – Strat and Raven
"You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth (Hot Summer Night)" – Strat, Raven, Ledoux, Liebeswoosh, Blake, Mordema, Jagwire and Company
"Not Allowed to Love" – Tink
"What Part of My Body Hurts the Most" – Falco and Sloane
"Dead Ringer for Love" – Jagwire, Zahara and Company
"Rock and Roll Dreams Come Through" – Strat, Tink, Jagwire, Ledoux, Blake, Zahara and Company
"It's All Coming Back to Me Now" – Raven, Sloane, Falco and Strat
"I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)" – Strat, Raven, Jagwire, Falco, Sloane, Zahara, Blake, Ledoux, Liebeswoosh and Company
What awards has Bat Out of Hell won?
The show has developed a fervent fanbase, which is reflected in its nominations for fan-voted awards in particular. It has also picked up nominations and awards from theatre industry bodies too.
Bat Out of Hell’s major awards wins and nominations include:
- Olivier Awards: Gareth Owen nominated for sound design
- Evening Standard Theatre Awards: Bat Out of Hell won Best Musical; Jon Bausor was nominated for his design
- The Stage Debut Awards: Andrew Polec, who played Strat, won for Best West End Debut
- BroadwayWorld Awards: Gareth Owen won for sound design; lead actors Andrew Polec and Christina Bennington (Raven) were nominated, as was the show for Best Musical
- West End Wilma Awards: Sharon Sexton (Sloane) won Best Performer in a West End Show, Danielle Steers won Best Supporting Cast Member in a West End Show
Major productions of Bat Out of Hell
Bat Out of Hell is now an international force, playing not just in the West End but in other countries and mounting extensive tours. Read more about the major productions of Bat Out of Hell.
2017: Bat Out of Hell premiere at Manchester Opera House on 17 Feb. The production ran for just over two months.
2017: Bat Out of Hell West End premiere. Bat Out of Hell opened at the London Coliseum on 5 June and ran until 22 August.
2017: Bat Out of Hell North American premiere. Bat Out of Hell opened at the Ed Mirvish Theatre in Toronto, Canada, on 14 October and ran until 7 January 2018.
2018: Bat Out of Hell returned to the West End. It opened at the Dominion Theatre on 19 April and extended twice, running until 5 January 2019.
2018: Bat Out of Hell began a new run at the Ed Mirvish Theatre in Toronto on 16 October and ran until 3 November. A North American tour was meant to follow, but it was postponed.
2018: Bat Out of Hell opened at the Metronom Theater in Oberhausen, Germany, on 2 November and ran until 19 September 2019.
2019: Bat Out of Hell New York premiere. Bat Out of Hell opened Off Broadway at New York City Center on 1 August and ran until 8 September. Original cast members Andrew Polec, Christina Bennington and Danielle Steers were part of the company for this run.
2021: Bat Out of Hell embarked on a UK tour (postponed by Covid), beginning at Manchester Opera House on 11 September and visiting numerous places – including Oxford, Glasgow, Birmingham, Sheffield, Southampton, Newcastle, Bristol, Belfast, Cardiff, Liverpool and Woking.
2022: Bat Out of Hell began a Las Vegas residency at the Paris Theatre on 7 October. The show is currently booking until 31 March 2023.
2022: Bat Out of Hell is currently on a UK and Europe Tour, with upcoming stops including Swansea and Dusseldörf. Bat Out of Hell will also return to London’s West End, opening at the Peacock Theatre on 17 Feb. 2023 and playing until 1 April. The tour is dedicated to the late Meat Loaf and Jim Steinman.
2023: Bat Out of Hell will begin an arena tour of Australia at the Spark Arena in Auckland on 22 January 2023. It will visit Sydney, Perth, Brisbane, Adelaide and Melbourne.
Fun facts about Bat Out of Hell
Bat Out of Hell has made megastars out of its cast members – and we’ve got more talented rising stars announced for the London run, including Glenn Adamson (American Idiot UK tour) as Strat and Kellie Gnauck (Evita in the West End and UK Tour) as Raven.
But we’ve also got some familiar faces returning! Rob Fowler and Sharon Sexton, who originated the roles of Falco and Sloane respectively, are back in the cast for the London production of Bat Out of Hell.
Jim Steinman actually had the idea for what would become Bat Out of Hell way back in 1968, when he was a student at Amherst College. He wrote a newspaper article about issues facing his generation, and that sparked the idea for a musical: The Dream Engine. The staging of it was influenced by Bertolt Brecht, and characters included a tribe of youths led by Baal (played by Steinman) and authority figures like a police chief and draft board representative.
There’s major Olympic talent behind the show. Bat Out of Hell’s designer Jon Bauser was responsible for the 2012 London Paralympic Games opening ceremony, and lighting designer Patrick Woodroffe worked on the opening and closing ceremonies for the London Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Bat Out of Hell uses around 3,240 lightbulbs in 350 lights, plus 30km of electrical cable, 194 speakers and 150 microphones – all to create that spectacular rock concert experience.
How to get Bat Out of Hell tickets
Bat Out of Hell is bound to be incredibly popular once again – so this is a hot ticket! Don’t wait too long or you might miss out. Book your Bat Out of Hell tickets at the Peacock Theatre now to ensure you get that unique rock musical trip.
Photo credit: Bat out of Hell (Photos courtesy of production)
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