- Title: U.S. rocker Meat Loaf previews new West End musical
- Date: 3rd November 2016
- Summary: CROWD WATCHING PERFORMANCE CAMERAMAN FILMING LIVE CAST PERFORMANCE OF "BAT OUT OF HELL"
- Embargoed: 18th November 2016 20:52
- Keywords: Meat Loaf Bat Out of Hell music rock music musical theatre West End
- Location: LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM / UNKNOWN LOCATIONS
- City: LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM / UNKNOWN LOCATIONS
- Country: United Kingdom
- Topics: Arts/Culture/Entertainment,Theatre
- Reuters ID: LVA00656W1171
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: AUDIO AS INCOMING FOR LIVE CAST PERFORMANCE CLIPS
A new West End musical inspired by Meat Loaf's "Bat Out of Hell" album is due to hit the London stage next summer, but audiences didn't have to wait that long for a taster of the action. The Grammy Award-winning singer was in the British capital on Thursday (November 3) to give a preview of the show, introducing an outdoor performance by the cast and paying tribute to long-time collaborator Jim Steinman.
About a hundred people packed St Martin's Lane in Covent Garden to catch a glimpse of the live renditions of the record's famous songs, while a dozen or so Harley-Davidson bikers revved their engines in support.
"Jim Steinman's Bat Out of Hell - The Musical" will have its world premiere at the London Coliseum on June 20, 2017 and will run for a limited season till July 22, 2017.
"I've been working with Jimmy [Steinman - lyricist and composer] for 42 years - and I've known for years that he wanted this play to open in London first. He wanted to go to New York but he wanted it to open here first. And there was something about, he felt the people in London and in Europe were - loyal is not a good word - relied still on music to be part of their lives, where America really doesn't. You used to mark time, events in your life, by music that was playing," said Meat Loaf, born Marvin Lee Aday, in an interview with Reuters.
The stage musical is described as "a romantic adventure about rebellious youth and passionate love, set against the backdrop of a post-cataclysmic city adrift from the mainland". The lead character, Strat (played by Andrew Polec), is the forever young head of a gang called The Lost, who falls in love with Raven, the daughter of a tyrannical ruler.
"It's really about the first time you fall in love with someone, head over heels, and you would do anything for that person. And really, my character falls in love with this despotic ruler's daughter and it's a little bit like 'Romeo and Juliet', it's a little bit of Peter Pan and Wendy. I think that the real, crucial point is that my character can't age, he'll always be 18, so he's been 18 for what 40 years now or something and, all of a sudden, he really, really truly finds love and maybe that's the way he'll finally grow up and it won't be just a quick romance, it'll be a full throttle, real experience," said Polec.
The first "Bat Out of Hell" record became one of the best-selling albums in history when it was released in 1977.
For the musical, Steinman has incorporated classic songs, including "You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth", "Bat Out Of Hell", "I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)" and "Two Out Of Three Ain't Bad", as well as two previously unreleased songs, "What Part of My Body Hurts the Most" and "Not Allowed to Love".
Despite a past legal conflict over trademark rights, Meat Loaf was full of praise for the producer's talents: "I think Steinman goes way past rock music, Steinman is one of the greatest writers of all time. He's in the same league as Richard Wagner or Mahler or Mozart, I mean into early writers in America."
The 69-year-old also explained why it had taken so long for a theatrical adaptation: "Jimmy wanted a certain script, and he was bound and determined to get this script, a certain style of script done. He had different people write them - they were horrible, I'm telling you they were horrible. I got scripts that he's written that were brilliant but would've cost a fortune to put on. So I think this script covers what Jimmy wanted to say all along and it also keeps the cost down."
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