IN two weeks’ time, history will be made when Manchester Opera House hosts the world premiere of Bat Out of Hell: The Musical.

Director Jay Scheib is the man tasked with bringing Jim Steinman’s epic songs to the stage.

He said: “It is an amazing honour and a big responsibility. It’s been a bit like jumping into a pool without knowing what’s at the bottom but that’s the genius of Jim Steinman.”

Steinman originally envisaged Bat Out of Hell as a theatre show more than 40 years ago. The album, featuring Meat Loaf, became one of the most successful albums of all time.

David Sonenberg, one of the show’s producers, said: “I feel that Bat Out of Hell was way ahead of its time. When people were presented with the idea that this would be a musical they thought it was insane.

“Now the world has caught up with it. These are songs and a show which has always belonged in the theatre.”

Jay Scheib has brought together a virtually unknown cast for the show with Andrew Polec playing the lead role of Strat.

Set in a mysterious future, the show has elements of Romeo and Juliet as Strat the rebel leader falls in love with the daughter of the tyrannical ruler of a dysfunctional city.

‘When people were presented with the idea that this would be a musical they thought it was insane. Now the world has caught up with it’

David Sonenberg

Songs from Bat Out of Hell including Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad, Deadringer and I Would Do Anything For Love all feature but the creative team behind the show are quick to point out that this show is definitely not a jukebox musical.

Jay said: “We approached this as though we were hearing the songs for the first time. We wanted to get back to that energy which launched those songs in the first place.

“It’s been a crazy, painful, fun and wild experience. We know that a lot of the audience will have high expectations as those songs have been so important to them but I think those expectations will be more than met.

“We’re not changing the songs. We’re doing them as they were written except we have split them into multiple voices. It’s not just Meat Loaf doing a song, it’s now a scene with multiple characters, and it’s part of an ongoing story.”

Jim Steinman has been heavily involved in rehearsals, watching the show develop via Skype and giving advice to the young cast.

Producer David said: “It is a wild vision and you have to do it in a way that’s believable and that you care about it . I think pretty quickly the audience will find themselves getting drawn into the story – it’s a very exciting journey.

“What is cool is that the cast are young, they certainly didn’t grow up on Meat Loaf and they are theatre people. Some of them knew nothing about Bat Out of Hell.

“But now a few weeks later when they are not in the scene you see every one of them singing every lyric.

“They are really into it. That’s the magic of Jim Steinman, you don’t have to have grown up with the songs to enjoy this.”

“It’s super exhilarating to be involved in this show,” said Jay.

“It is something truly special and we can’t wait to open in Manchester.”

n The world premiere of Bat Out of Hell: The Musical launches at Manchester Opera House on February 17 and runs until April 8.

To contact the box office ring 0844 871 3018.