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Theatre / Bat Out of Hell

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A wasted youth is better by far than a wise and productive old age!

Bat Out Of Hell, billed fully as Jim Steinman's Bat Out Of Hell The Musical is a rock musical with songs mostly drawn from the Bat Out of Hell albums. Written by Steinman, it embraces his love of rock cliches and Peter Pan. The show debuted in Manchester in February of 2017 and has since travelled to London, then to Toronto, then to New York City, and then back to London.

The plot follows Strat, the poster child of a group of outcasts in the city of Obsidian called The Lost, whose bodies and minds are stuck at age 18 following the Chemical Wars, and his romance with Raven Falco, daughter of a wealthy industrialist who is just turning 18 as the story begins. Their romance is impeded by her father's zealous protection of her from the likes of the Lost and is eager to kill Strat upon hearing of him, and the jealousy of Tink, a member of The Lost whose mutation goes further and has him stuck around age 15 and acting even more immature.

Bat Out Of Hell contains examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Falco keeping Raven locked up in Falco Towers for her entire life might be understandable given the general state of Obsidian, but keeping her on dream-suppressing drugs in the hopes it will prevent her from wanting to leave is beyond the pale. Sloane herself is a bit neglectful at worst and even has moments as a Good Parent, but of course she allows this to happen.
  • Accidental Murder: Falco is unquestionably a violent man, but ultimately his murder of Tink is this.
  • After the End: The Chemical Wars are referenced as, among other things, the cause of The Lost's mutation, and the show is set in what was once Manhattan, now called Obsidian.
  • The Ageless: The Lost.
  • All There in the Manual: An abbreviated newspaper written from an in-universe perspective is left waiting for the audience on their seats so they can find out things like the names of the less prominent characters, who the Falco family are, and what the deal is with The Lost.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Among Falco and Sloane's many faults. Best exemplified during "Paradise By the Dashboard Light", when Raven walks in on them in their underwear about to have sex, at her birthday party.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: In some productions, Tink’s song "Not Allowed To Love" is cut and replaced with him belting out a short reprise of "For Crying Out Loud" at Strat, which very much counts as this.
  • Ascended Extra: Valkyrie started life as a background member of the Lost, but from the 2018 version of the show on, she took over Blake's role as one of Those Two Guys after he was removed from the show, and she also gets a moment with Sloane.
  • Auto Erotica: "Paradise By The Dashboard Light" plays out between Falco and Sloane, complete with a car set piece. Also referenced in Ledoux's verse in "Objects In The Rear View Mirror May Appear Closer Than They Are".
  • The Baby of the Bunch: Tink is this, frozen younger than the rest of The Lost, and he hates being treated as such.
  • Badass Biker: Most of The Lost get a turn riding a motorcycle into a scene, but Jagwire, Ledoux, and of course Strat stand out.
  • Beta Couple: Downplayed, or possibly even inverted, with Zahara and Jagwire. Zahara's emotional baggage leads her to utterly shut Jagwire's advances down early in the show, but their relationship doesn't receive much obvious development from then to "Dead Ringer For Love", by which point she seems to have gotten over it. Played straighter with other members of The Lost, who consistently couple up in the background.
  • Brick Joke: Early on, the Lost propose asking for ransom for Raven, and Tink doesn’t understand the concept at all. Later, when he comes to make a deal with Falco, he demands ransom and completely fudges it, requesting only a handshake. Falco is utterly bemused.
  • Bury Your Gays: Played completely straight with Tink. It's rather noticeable that he is the only character who does not get a happy ending, even including Falco.
    • As-of the first UK tour this is inverted with several of The Lost alive & ending up in same-sex couples by the end of the show. This includes the new character of Valkyrie, who at one point even proposes to Sloane.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: The Lost (minus Zahara) receive this at the hands of Falco and his guards during "In the Land of the Pig, the Butcher is King", with electrocution, drowning and beatings being seen.
    • Cut from the the New York City production, which makes Falco's redemption more palatable.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Jagwire, Blake/Valkyrie and Ledoux use “Objects In The Rear View Mirror May Appear Closer Than They Are” to admit their lives were awful even before they were frozen.
  • Dating What Daddy Hates: 90% of the conflict is derived from Falco’s fury that his daughter Raven is interested in a member of the Lost.
  • Deal with the Devil: Jealous of Raven as the object of Strat’s affection, Tink offers to lead Falco to the Lost so he can take Raven away, on condition no one else gets hurt. Predictably, it ends badly.
  • Demoted to Extra: Blake got hit with this from the 2018 version of the show onwards, becoming a nameless background member of the Lost, while most of his parts were given to Ascended Extra Valkyrie.
  • Design Student's Orgasm: It's a Jim Steinman production, what did you expect? The show basically has this as its aesthetic
  • Disney Death: Strat, the main character, gets one at the end of act one. He crashes during "Bat Out of Hell", and everyone believes him dead, but Zahara nurses him back to health with some of Raven's blood.
  • Domestic Abuse: There's no indication that Falco and Sloane's relationship has involved any of this before, except perhaps some mutual emotional abuse, but by the second act Falco is decompensating badly and Sloane does not feel safe staying in Falco Towers once she's crossed him in a serious way.
  • Easily Forgiven: Falco's redemption can seem like this; Tink's death was an accident, but he may have already crossed the Moral Event Horizon earlier in the show with the Cold-Blooded Torture. The New York City production deals with this by cutting "In The Land of the Pig The Butcher Is King". Don't worry, he doesn't go too soft - as Strat points out "The entire city is burning."
  • Everybody Has Lots of Sex: EVERYBODY. Even Falco and Sloane, for all their relationship problems and complaints about getting older, nearly have sex in the middle of Raven's birthday party - an early indication that they and their relationship still have a spark of passion.
  • Fanservice: Pretty much half of the show is this
  • Fantastic Ghetto: The Lost are relegated to an area of Obsidian known as The Deep End, which is implied by one line to be underground.
  • Fantastic Racism: The Lost are discriminated against for their condition, with society believing them to be violent and thoughtless. To be clear, we're talking about people whose idea of "kidnapping" Raven amounts to talking her into sneaking out of the house at night and showing her their underground clubhouse.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Sloane and Falco, sort of
  • Immortality Begins at Twenty: In fact, it begins at 18 for the random percentage of the population who become Lost.
  • Immortal Immaturity: To the point that The Lost seem to actually be incapable of developing psychologically past 18 as well as aging physically past it. Tink, who is described as "a mutation of a mutation" and frozen slightly younger than the rest of The Lost, behaves almost like a child.
  • Immortal Procreation Clause: The Lost have a lot of sex, but the only place new Lost seem to come from is their mutation spontaneously appearing in children of ordinary parents.
  • Jukebox Musical: Of the Bat Out of Hell albums mostly, but also some of Steinman's other work.
  • Killed Off for Real: Tink, courtesy of Falco
  • Lady Drunk: Sloane. It's implied that this is how she deals with being locked up in Falco Towers all day.
  • Living Forever Is Awesome: The Lost love their lives of endless sex, partying, rock & roll, and teenage adventures. Though they do have some scars from their pre-change lives (recounted in "Objects in the Rearview Mirror"), their only real problem currently is the Fantastic Racism against them.
  • Malicious Misnaming: when Tink comes to make a deal with Falco, the latter keeps getting his name wrong for laughs.
  • Mayfly–December Romance: A concern that Raven has about her relationship with Strat is that she'll age while he remains young.
  • MegaCorp: It's not clear what Falco Industries does exactly, but it seems to have its fingers in housing and power, as well as having intimidating private security.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: Or get her taken away and locked up by her father, that’s just as good, as far as Tink’s concerned.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Falco did not mean to kill Tink, and he clearly regrets it terribly.
  • Ode to Youth: "Wasted Youth" has The Lost revelling in their eternal immaturity, while "Who Needs The Young" has Falco and Sloane bitterly going over the finer points of aging.
  • Parental Substitute: Played for laughs. When Strat and Raven get married, Ledoux excitedly asks if she will be their mother. The other Lost all give him weird looks.
  • Parents as People: A show about eternal teenagers, rock & roll, and forbidden teenage love could easily have made the parents straightforward villains. Instead, it's clear that Falco and Sloane still have at least a bit of rock & roll in their souls, and a good portion of the show is spent on trying to rekindle their love and redeem Falco.
  • Rock Opera: Certainly has the right tone with Steinman at the wheel. Although the music wasn't originally written for the musical, it does try to bring together the Neverland concept that Steinman had been weaving into his work over the years.
  • Running Gag: Strat recites the first line of the spoken intro to "You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth", and is met with confusion by the person he's saying it to, and Strat indignantly declares "You're supposed to come up with a response!" The last person he says it to is Raven, who finally gives a response, which leads to the dialogue being finished and the song performed.
  • Shout-Out: Multiple to Peter Pan, from the naming of Tink to the eternally-young Lost, to an advice columnist in the supplementary newspaper named Wendy.
  • Spoken Word in Music: The baseball play-by-play in "Paradise By The Dashboard Light" is preserved. As is the dialogue from "You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth", for the above Running Gag.
  • Stealth Pun: The one gay character, Tink, is based on Tinkerbell. A fairy.
  • Those Two Guys: Blake and Ledoux, friends of Strat and members of the Lost who don’t get as much development as Strat, Tink, Zahara and Jagwire, but are always there. Later productions removed Blake from the show and replaced him with a girl named Valkyrie, who doubles this trope with being Ledoux's platonic best friend (and more attracted to Sloane.)
  • Time Skip: Towards the end of the show, things skip forward six months.
  • 20 Minutes into the Future: According to the supplementary newspaper, the show begins in October of 2030.
  • Villain Song: Falco gets "In The Land Of The Pig, The Butcher Is King".
    • "Who Needs the Young" has traces of this for both Falco and Sloane
  • Villainous Breakdown: As Falco loses control of Obsidian and his family, he starts decompensating badly.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Both Strat, who never seems to finish putting a shirt on, and Falco, who rips his off at every given opportunity
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: Averted. None of the Lost besides Tink ever show much angst about their situation
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: Oh, Falco will hurt children - or at least eternal teenagers - plenty. Especially in productions that leave in "In The Land Of The Pigs, The Butcher Is King". But despite his threats and other violent acts, he never meant to kill one.