Bat Boy: The Musical

Billed as a uniquely grotesque combination of satire, horror and comedy, Bat Boy: The Musical has a small but dedicated cult following. Performed by Ophiuchus Rising, the semi-professional cast effortlessly made sense of the bizarre and risqué storyline. Based on a mysterious bat-like creature which was found in a cave and given to the Parker family for safekeeping, the plot follows the fictitious town of Hope Falls in West Virginia as they navigate their way through accepting this outcast into a previously closed and prejudiced society of a few decades ago.

A well-polished performance all round, Bat Boy will have you dangling from the rafters with love at first bite.

Utilising every inch of the stage and seating, the seventeen-strong ensemble seamlessly transitioned between flashy numbers and more intimate renditions, achieving a most varied and interesting production. Ava Chenok as Meredith Parker in particular gave a stellar portrayal, adding well-timed elements of humour into her frequent (and often tricky) songs.

At first I felt that the musical was a little too mature for the company, comprised predominantly of young teenagers. With sexual elements, murder and incest I winced at a few of the jokes when they came from the mouths of such young performers, but I soon eased into it upon the strong and convincing command the cast had over the piece. Smutty moments of dialogue were delivered with conviction and purpose and soon even the leather-strap costume of well-meaning but easily influenced Sheriff Reynolds, played exceptionally convincingly by Connor Johnson, became nothing more than a well-integrated part of the show.

Though the cast was well-polished and projected clearly during dialogue, I did feel that perhaps they should consider using microphones. Shirley Bassey would struggle to compete with a four-piece band, and it would mean that individual lines within songs would not be drowned out so much, complementing the performance even further. Bat Boy Nikolai Granados would certainly have benefitted from a microphone. He had the difficult job of singing through fangs; not the most convenient for strong projection. On this note, I was most impressed by Lily James’ Reverend Billy Hightower, whose bluesy gospel chords of the church sermon comfortably overcame instrumental noise and surpassed expectation.

A well-polished performance all round, Bat Boy will have you dangling from the rafters with love at first bite.

Reviews by Matthew Sedman

PBH's Free Fringe @ Bar Bados Complex

Meatball Séance

★★
Just the Tonic at Marlin's Wynd

Sam Morrison: Hello, Daddy!

★★★
Roundabout @ Summerhall

Square Go

★★★★
Roundabout @ Summerhall

Parakeet

★★★
Assembly Roxy

Since U Been Gone

★★★★
Summerhall

Sex Education

★★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

Straight off the cover of the Weekly World News, Bat Boy: The Musical is a comedy/horror musical about half-boy, half-bat Edgar, who is found in a cave near Hope Falls, USA. After he's brought to town, the outsider is ridiculed and ostracised from the society he's trying hard to be a part of. With a beat-driven rock score that pays homage to late 60s and early 70s rock musicals, Bat Boy provides a compelling theatrical metaphor for the dangers of prejudice and provincialism, shedding light on an American region that voted overwhelmingly for Trump.

Most Popular See More

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

From £13.00

More Info

Find Tickets

SIX

From £29.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Play That Goes Wrong

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Everybody's Talking About Jamie

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Hairspray

From £21.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Lion King

From £45.00

More Info

Find Tickets