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Bat Out Of Hell, One Year Later

I am no way sponsored by Jim Steinman’s Bat Out Of Hell The Musical or The Alexandra.

A year ago today, I sat in The Alexandra, a beautiful theatre, to watch the first live musical I had seen since I was ten. It was a time when live theatre was struggling with the effects of the pandemic, and the country was still struggling to recover.

Jim Steinman’s Bat Out of Hell was everything I could have asked for a more.

At that time, my life was a bit of a mess. Between a mix of family issues and health issues, I was exhausted and feeling a little lost. My creative well was closer to a desert and I was still in the middle of several manuscripts and several ideas that all seemed to frustrate me. Then along came the wild musical featuring Jim Steinman and Meat Loaf’s biggest hits. It was so easy to lose myself in the performance and music and fall in love with it.

It ended so abruptly I was upset and even slightly furious. There was no real resolution to the plot of the musical outside of the last song. Worst of all, the woman in front of me had spent most of the second act on Whatsapp. So what did I do?

I bought a t-shirt and programme, and then I bought tickets to see it again.

Five days later, on the 10th, I returned with slightly better seats, hoping I could spent the second act seeing more than the light from the phone screen of whoever was sat in front of me. The theatre gods shone down on me that evening. For whatever strange reason, the couple sitting in front of me disappeared at the interval. Since I was in the second row of the Grand Circle, got a clear view of the stage for the entire second half.

My love for this musical is like the ocean, rising and falling but always there. For the following 6 months I listened to the soundtrack every day. Even now I listen to it regularly. In fact, I’m listing to it as I’m writing this. Am I still upset there was no resolution to Strat and Raven’s story that tied everything up nicely? Yes. Do I love the show regardless? Absolutely.

This show is what it is because of amazing performances and all the love and hard work everyone involved has put in. It’s clear to see just how everyone works hard to make it great. At the first show I saw, one actor forgot to sing a line of the last song and completely missed their cue. I love that it can only happen what it’s live. There’s no way to edit around something that is happening right in front of you.

Listening to soundtracks and watching adaptations are wonderful, they’re the only way some people can access the world of theatre, but there is nothing like being there and experiencing it. Is my love for this musical biased? More than likely, every experience in influenced by what is going on in our lives around us. But I highly recommend this explosive musical. It’s fun, hilarious, and slightly ridiculous in all the best ways.

Seeing this musical live was a joy, it dragged me out and reminded me of how wonderful live performances could be at the tail end of the pandemic. It reminded me of the happiness my life was missing at that point and it restored my creativity. Meat Loaf’s unfortunate passing shortly after I saw this was devastating. Someone whose music I’d found myself suddenly listening to was gone. It was a painful reminded that people aren’t around forever, myself included. But I also had the reminded that being creative, crazy and loud could be brilliant, and my creativity was all coming back to me.

Despite everything in my life at that time, I had a reminder that being creative, and sometimes a little crazy, could be brilliant.

I hope to see Bat Out Of Hell for the third time at the Peacock Theatre in London this year, with a new cast (though some from the UK tour remain), and hopefully it inspires me just as much to keep going and keeping being me.

If you’d like to check out the musical, click here. And if you want to check out The Alexandra, click here.

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