Bat Boy the Musical – Southwark Playhouse

imageBat Boy is a 90’s cult musical based around a true news story about a half bat/half boy creature found in a cave. It’s Rocky Horror meets Little Shop of Horrors. The show made its Broadway debut in 2001 and found its way to London’s Shaftesbury Theatre in 2004 where it received mixed reviews but ran for four months following a transfer from the West Yorkshire Playhouse.

When the bat boy creature is discovered in a cave by a group of teenagers, the town sheriff takes the animal to the local vets house Dr Parker for him to put the animal down. His wife Meredith takes a shine to the boy and begs to save his life. She makes it her mission to teach the boy how to be a human in society, renaming him Edgar and teach him how to speak and act normally. But will the town residents be willing to accept this creature into society and will Edgar be able to abstain from his thirst for blood?

Rob Compton is a great choice to cast as Bat Boy. He contorts and moves his body in a creature like sense that reminded me of Ed Watson in Metamorphosis. Lauren Ward and Matthew White are a power couple as Dr and Mrs Parker. Meredith’s character acting is superb and she absorbs herself into her character totally. Matthew shocked me with his incredible singing voice that really made the show feel special.

Georgina Hagen played the role of teenage daughter Shelly Parker well, with stroppy teenage angst whilst also being the hopeless romantic young woman. Some of her singing however was disappointing and sounded out of key. Nolan Frederick’s singing also left a lot to be desired.

The set design of Bat Boy is good with a cartoon like feel and good use of video screens. Unfortunately at times the video looked cheap and rushed in its design. The sound was also frustrating at times making it a struggle to focus on the performance entirely.

I would definitely recommend people to go and see Bat Boy. It is a great musical that deserves to be seen. I would love to see Bat Boy on a larger stage as it seemed too big for the Southwark Playhouse. With a bit of work, I think this could fly into the West End with success.

Reviewed by West End Wilma

Bat Boy is playing at the Southwark Playhouse until 31 January 2015.