The Dominion Theatre, home to the ‘Bat out of Hell’ musical, is a large theatre on the corner of Tottenham Court Road and Charing Cross Road. It’s literally a stones throw from the Tottenham Court Road Underground station and Charing Cross station (Trafalgar Square) is just around the corner, so it’s easily accessible from all parts of London. Leicester Square is also a short walk away where there’s a multitude of restaurants and fast food places for before or after the show (I normally grab a slice, or two, of take-away pizza before a show for a quick snack, especially if I’ve been at work or uni before I go).
The size of the theatre means you can’t miss it and the stage is huge, however it also means the auditorium is rather large too. This would be great in a sold-out show, however when I went to see it, it wasn’t even half full. This meant that the show had a sort of ‘dead’ feeling even though it was very well performed. The audience did try and make up for this fact by cheering extra loud after each song, but even with this additional effort you could tell the place wasn’t full, which isn’t really the atmosphere you want from a rock musical.
One great thing about this theatre though is the sheer size of the stage which Bat out of Hell take full advantage of. There’s multiple levels of the stage, there’s a small pond at the front, which a character actually dives into, and they even push a car into the orchestra pit! The staging of the show is absolutely phenomenal, probably the greatest shows I’ve seen in terms of staging and effects. There’s motorcycles and explosions and some trippy camera sequences, without giving away any spoilers, the effects right at the end of the first half were INSANE!
The first half of the play was definitely a lot slower than the second, I found, and some people even left at the interval – which personally I just find rude! The story is basically a loose retelling of Peter Pan, if Hook was Wendy’s dad and everyone was 18 so there’s a lot more sex in it, set in a post-apocalyptic America where they all sing Meat Loaf at every opportunity. The first half is mostly setting up the love story between Strat and Raven, with most of the action coming in the second half of the show. The second half also features more of the well-known tracks such as ‘For Crying Out Loud’, ‘You Took the Words Right Out of my Mouth’, ‘It’s All Coming Back to Me Now’ and ‘I’d Do Anything For Love’ which I felt boosted the atmosphere a lot. The storyline is a little confusing at times, I did have to google it in the interval to work out what was happening but by the end I was absolutely loving it! Hopefully if more people go then the atmosphere will be even more electric, just as it should be, so definitely don’t miss out on Bat out of Hell if you’re in London.
For tips on how to get cheap theatre tickets check out Lucy’s post or if Bat out of Hell isn’t really your thing, check out our review of School of Rock the musical.
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