BroadwayWorld UK were fortunate enough to attend a special Bat Out of Hell – THE MUSICAL gig on 14 March at the American International Church ahead of their opening at the Dominion Theatre on 2 April.
At this intimate concert, we were able to see the classic Jim Steinman rock songs brought to life by the amazing cast. This was followed by a post-performance Q&A at the Dominion Theatre, where we were able to get a sneak peak at the get-in process and hear from some of the show’s creatives.
Bat Out Of Hell opened in Manchester last year, followed by a West End run at the London Coliseum before heading over to Toronto, Canada. The set was shipped over in 15 containers that took five weeks in total to get there. It had stellar reviews, and its West End return is feverishly anticipated.
At the Q&A, Simon Marlow, Bat Out of Hell production manager, said: “It took roughly nine months to build this set, which has now seen three seasons. We are back in London now and the set has to go through three stages before it’s up and show ready.
“The first stage is the ‘load in’ – bringing all the lighting, sound, scenery and video into the theatre. Stage Two is the dry tech, when we put the show on without the cast and musicians, and then Stage Three is where we bring in the cast and musicians and tech the full company for roughly two weeks.”
During the present load in, there are around 87 technicians working on the show, and Bat Out of Hell general manager Julian Stoneman added: “There will be 40 technicians running each show when we’re open, and there will be a total of 145 people on the pay role every evening.
“We’ve extended the size of the cast coming back to London. We are now a cast of 34, which is a lot more than you may have seen in Manchester and a few more than the Coliseum.”
We were assured that “the cast have iron lungs – they are exceptionally talented and are able to do this show eight times a week”.
We also heard from Jon Bausor, the set designer and one of the costume designers of the show: “The music gave so much to me and I wanted to create a set that was as epic as the music and push the sound into the room. I was really inspired by Eighties music videos and movies such as Escape from New York and others about dystopian cities.”
We found out that there is not a single 90-degree angle on the set, so it makes it a difficult job for tech team. “[The show] has a few tricks up its sleeve. I wanted it to be a show that morphs in front of your eye,” said Jon.
It was interesting to learn that Jim Steinman watched every show in the lead up to its return to London, not by attending them but by having a live camera feed set up. This allowed him to fine tune the show and make notes.
You can read the full article and see out sneak peek video on the BroadwayWorld UK website.