One Hell of a show: how Bat Out Of Hell got Eastbourne All Revved up with Some Place to go 

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 24: Glenn Adamson performs songs from 'Bat out of Hell' on stage durin

One Hell Of a Musical - Credit: Getty Image

With a gang of Harley-Davidson bikers to welcome them, Jim Steinman’s iconic lyrics and Meat Loaf’s greatest hits, the award-winning musical had the Congress Theatre audience rocking in the aisles 

A gang of 45 leather-clad Harley-Davidson bikers joined the packed audience at Eastbourne Congress after the award-winning Bat Out of Hell – The Musical roared into town – and got everyone all Revved Up with one Hell of a show.  

Featuring all the songs from Meat Loaf’s iconic album, Bat – as it’s affectionately known – was about to go on an American tour after a run in London’s West End when the pandemic broke out and theatres globally were shut down.  

Now it’s finally touring the UK and, along with the soundtrack of our youth, is telling a story for these Covid times of a generation of young New Yorkers whose DNA is permanently frozen in time after contracting a mysterious illness during a pandemic.

Heavily influenced by the story of Peter Pan, and with more of a smattering of the Romeo and Juliet about it, the inhabitants of a dystopian future are forever 18, and lorded over by dictator Falco (Rob Fowler) from his Trump-style tower.  

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 24: Martha Kirby and Glenn Adamson perform songs from 'Bat out of Hell

All Revved Up - Credit: Getty Images

Led by the tormented Strat (the uber charismatic Glenn Adamson), ‘The Lost’ boys (see what they did there?) and girls are trying to survive in the wastelands of Manhattan, now called Obsidian, and thwart Falco’s attempts to develop the city.  

Meanwhile Falco’s beautiful but bored daughter Raven is about to turn 18 and is desperate to experience life outside her gilded cage. Cue a tale as old as, well, Shakespeare, of two teenagers from different worlds falling in love with Falco desperate to keep them apart at any cost.  

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Jim Steinman always intended Bat Out Of Hell to be a stage musical (he only shelved the idea after J M Barrie’s estate objected to the Peter Pan element of the story) and the anthemic songs from the multi-million selling album drive the story.  

Adamson, as the mesmerising Strat, channels the innocence of Peter Pan, the sensitivity of the Bard’s Romeo, and the swagger and showmanship of Iggy Pop.

Glenn Adamson will do anything for love in Bat out of Hell 

Glenn Adamson will do anything for love as Strat in Bat out of Hell - Credit: supplied

His voice is big, his talent is even bigger and he breaks through to the audience, inviting us into his world, willing him to get the girl and save us all from the Big Brother-style dictatorship of Falco and his violent riot squad.  

He bewitched the Congress as well as Raven (Martha Kirkby), a young Sophie Ellis-Bextor lookalike with a hauntingly beautiful voice.  

For Crying Out Loud  

But the powerhouse moment belonged to Joelle Moses, whose rich, deep tones during Two out of Three Ain’t Bad as Zahara captivated the Congress. An intoxicating mix of Tina Turner, Whitney Houston and Beyonce, she’s a huge star in the making and worth the ticket price alone.  

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 24: perform on stage during The National Lottery's Big Night of Music

The mesmerising Glenn Adamson captivated the audience as Strat - Credit: Getty Images

It’s Adamson who steals the show at the end of the first act though with his dramatic and bloody rendition of Bat Out of Hell which brought everyone to their feet after a moment of stunned silence.  

He, along with Fowler, Moses, Kirkby, Laura Johnson (as Raven’s drunken mum Sloane), an excellent set, and The Kardashians reality-TV style camera work projected onto a huge screen to bring the action even closer, make this a brilliant must-see show.  

In pursuit of love: Strat and Raven in Bat out of Hell

In pursuit of love: Strat and Raven in Bat out of Hell - Credit: supplied

The crowd erupted at the end, demanding an encore which they sang and danced along to, screaming that they would do Anything For Love (but even they Won’t Do That!).  

Bat is two hours of pure escapism that’s so good I wish I could put it on repeat, just like I did with the album when I was young. This is the best show I’ve seen in years – don't miss it.  

Bat Out of Hell – The Musical at the Congress Theatre is on until 28 May 2022. Tickets from £39.  eastbournetheatres.co.uk or call Box Office on 01323 412000.