Friday, 16 January 2015

Bat Boy - The Musical

Your typical Frankenstein/ Edward Scissorhands story. Creature enters civilisation, civilians are afraid and intolerant and lose no time in forming a violent mob.

Bat Boy is based on a story published in American tabloid The Weekly World News, on June 23rd 1992. The story told its readers of a 'half boy - half bat' found in a cave and printed each fabrication as fact. This issue became their second best selling issue.

From the same producer as In The Heights and written by Key the Farley and Brian Flemming, Bat Boy takes place in the fictional Hope Falls, West Virginia. Three siblings find Bat Boy in a cave and after he attacks their site, the boys capture bat boy where he is brought to Meredith Parker, who says she'll care for him.

Perhaps this is not the best staging for a performance like this as it all feels a bit crowded and often too busy. The use of a screen helps slightly but could sometimes be distracting from the action on stage. 

Rob Compton plays a very believable Bat Boy, he effortlessly evolves from the wild half-beast to the more civilised, and for some bizarre reason British, Edgar - as his adoptive mother names him. Edgar becomes the most loveable character in the show.

Lauren Ward plays the warm and loving Meridith Parker. Ward has a stunning singing voice and sings every song completely flawlessly. Georgina Hagen plays Shelley Parker, a teenager who grows quite affectionate toward her adoptive brother. Hagen easily captures the typical teenage mood swings and has a fantastic voice to match her fantastic performance.

The rest of the cast impressively play more than one character to give a sense of the Hope Falls community.

At times the music drowned out the actors completely making it impossible to hear the lyrics and at other times the clarity of the microphones seemed a little off.

Despite the general message of the show, I left the show unsatisfied as I did not think the correct justice had been achieved.

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