Bat Out of Hell star Christina Bennington takes our Sugar Rush Quiz

After a hugely successful run at the Manchester Opera House, Bat Out of Hell the Musical has taken London by storm. The musical – with music by Jim Steinman and Meat Loaf – has proved popular with both critics and audiences alike, while its two young leading actors – Andrew Polec and Christina Bennington – have gathered multiple plaudits for their portrayals of the love struck pairing of Strat and Raven.

Christina Bennington previously impressed London theatregoers as Kim/cover Magnolia in Show Boat at the New London Theatre and took some time off from her busy performance schedule to take our Sugar Rush Quiz.

Andrew Polec as Strat and Christina Bennington as Raven in BAT OUT OF HELL credit Specular

What are you currently working on?

Bat out of Hell The Musical

 

What is the one thing that has helped you to become successful? 

Good friends and family

 

What is your favourite Book?

Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts

 

What are you currently watching on TV? 

I’ve most recently been watching the Netflix series Girl Boss

 

Would you choose the cinema, theatre or a restaurant for a night out? 

Theatre I guess…and a restaurant

 

What’s your favourite sweet? 

Dark Chocolate

 

What did you want to be when you were a child? 

An Opera Singer

 

What was the naughtiest thing you did when you were a child? 

Stealing stuff from my siblings

 

What is your proudest achievement to date? 

This musical

 

What’s next? 

I’m going to Toronto with Bat out of Hell The Musical in October

Bat Out of Hell The Musical is at the London Coliseum until 5 August 

Photos by Specular

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Review: “Unadulterated escapism” ★★★★ Bat Out of Hell – The Musical, London Coliseum

Jim Steinman had a musical theatre show in mind when he first wrote the classic album Bat Out Of Hell and the theatrical nature of both the lyrics and the music mean the songs perfectly lend themselves to the stage.

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Although the story that’s been wrapped around them for the new musical is a bit flimsy, with spectacular staging and plenty of tongue in cheek fun, the result is an evening of unadulterated escapism.

It’s a joyful mix of power ballads and cheesy dialogue (also written by Jim Steinman) with some central performances that are so good, the dubious plot is somehow held together. You will, in fact, get so wrapped up in the spectacle of the show that you’ll almost find yourself believing that a dystopia in which adolescents are stuck at the age of 18 is actually a reality. Well, almost.

Andrew Polec’s Strat leads ‘The Lost’, a band of misfits rebelling against the tyrannical rule of Falco (Rob Fowler). Polec’s performance is reminiscent of the rock front men from yesteryear; a blend of Axel Rose and David Bowie, brimming with charisma and sex appeal, while smoothly meandering through the famed melodies.

The youth becomes obsessed with Raven (played with zeal by Christina Bennington), the daughter of the evil dictator in one those zingy love-at-first-sight moments, and decides he must liberate her from her prisoner like existence. The mesmerising chemistry between the couple makes their stage time a joy to watch and with just enough Addams Family like macabre humour provided by Rob Fowler (whose vocals are to die for) and a wine swilling Sharon Sexton, the action never feels too sickly sweet.

John Bausor’s set design is rumoured to be one of the largest in the world and in this instance bigger is definitely better, with huge futuristic video projections further giving a rock concert feel and some lovely little details – including a plunge pool amongst a rocky outcrop– adding to the overall otherworldly look.

As expected, motorbikes also play a big part in the show, but it’s a convertible car that provides the comedy highlight when it’s pushed into the orchestra pit, resulting in some of the musicians making a hammy exit across the stage with their broken instruments.

Mostly the songs bear little relevance to the plot, but they are nevertheless still extremely powerful and in act two the ensemble’s rendition of “Objects in the Rearview Mirror May Appear Closer Than They Are” feels particularly poignant.

Yes, it’s formulaic and the ending is predictable, but in the current political climate, a show, which takes you away from the real world, is just what is needed.

Bat Out of Hell The Musical is at the London Coliseum until 5 August 

Photos by Specular

We chat to the stars of Bat Out of Hell The Musical

After taking almost 40 years to reach fruition, the musical theatre adaptation of Jim Steinman’s Bat Out of Hell officially opens in London this week.

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The show – which features the music of Steinman and famed rocker, Meat Loaf – was a big success with fans when it completed a run at the Manchester Opera House earlier this year.

We caught up with two of the stars backstage at the London Coliseum to find out more.

Andrew Polec leads the cast as Strat, the forever young leader of The Lost, who has fallen for Raven (Christina Bennington), daughter of Falco, the tyrannical, ruler of Obsidian.

Andrew said: “It was originally a concept that Jim Steinman had as a musical and I guess things just didn’t pan out and so they went for an album instead. As our director has said, ‘It’s the most premature cast album to have ever been recorded.’ Meatloaf paved the way for all of the music and it became a huge hit. Now it’s finally coming back to its roots.”

The show is set in post apocalyptic Manhattan, which has become detached and floated out into the Atlantic Ocean. The show includes the well-known rock anthems “Two out of Three Ain’t Bad”, the title track “Bat Out of Hell’ and the number one hit song “I’d do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That)”.

Andrew explained, “The show is incredible. It’s a mixture of Peter Pan and Romeo and Juliet all infused with music from the rock gods themselves, Meat Loaf and Jim Steinman.”

Christina Bennington plays Raven and added, “We have the amazing music woven into our storyline.”

It’s not just the music that promises to impress audiences in the Capitol however, as the show boasts one of the biggest sets in the world and Andrew tells me, “We have three motorbikes, which are featured heavily throughout the show and a lot of stage magic.”

With a cast filled with young talent, Andrew also tells me there is an important message behind it.

“This is really a show about reaching out to people who feel like they might be oppressed in society or oppressed in the everyday life that they lead. It’s about realising that if we connect more with love and if we connect more with the rock n roll mentality of rebellion, love will set you free.”

I ask Christina why she thinks people should come and see Bat Out Of Hell The Musical and she tells me: “You won’t have seen anything like it before in musical theatre. The set, the music and cast are incredible and it’s an incredible night out.”

Andrew adds, “It’s the future of musical theatre!”

Bat Out of Hell The Musical is at the London Coliseum until 5 August 

Photos by Specular

Bat Out Of Hell Star Andrew Polec takes our Sugar Rush Quiz

Andrew Polec is about to lead the cast in the hotly anticipated West End production of Bat Out of Hell The Musical at the London Coliseum. The show, which features the music of Jim Steinman and Meat Loaf was a big success with fans when it completed a run at the Manchester Opera House earlier this year.

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Andrew plays a rebellious rocker called Strat the forever young leader of The Lost, who has fallen for Raven, daughter of Falco, the tyrannical, ruler of Obsidian, a post-cataclysmic city adrift from the mainland.

Andrew took some time off from final rehearsals to take our Sugar Rush Quiz.

What are you currently working on?

Bat out of Hell The Musical

What is the one thing that has helped you to become successful? 

My hair

What is your favourite Book?

A Clockwork Orange

What are you currently watching on TV? 

Reruns of Sienfeld

Would you choose the cinema, theatre or a restaurant for a night out? 

Theatre

What’s your favourite sweet? 

I don’t know if you guys have it here. It’s called Fun Dip? It’s powdered sugar and a sugary stick that you lick. [We established it’s what the British would call a Sherbet Dip]

What did you want to be when you were a child? 

An inventor

What was the naughtiest thing you did when you were a child? 

I pretended I was a wild dog in the woods to scare a neighbour.

What is your proudest achievement to date? 

This musical

What’s next? 

Going to Toronto with Bat out of Hell The Musical and sharing love and joy with the world

Bat Out of Hell The Musical is at the London Coliseum until 5 August

Photo by Specular