"When shall we 3 meet again?" said myself, to Asti and David, as I drove them both to their respective houses on a hot Monday evening. After narrowly avoiding yet another life-threatening driver, it was decided the following day we'd hunt around for student seats at the theatres. Bat Boy perhaps? Knew nothing of it except that it had a fab-coloured poster. Reason enough to see a show, eh? Sadly enough, I've bought a few copies of 'The Weekly World News' in the past - the newsagent told me to never buy another issue again! There was this hilarious story about a figure rising out of the lake before submerging again....but ahah, anyways. Another blisteringly hot day, so on went the shorts and bright orange t.shirt (it really should be hidden if I'm planning on going to the theatre!). Students tickets only available an hour before the performance (I'll keep on saying it, but RIDICULOUS!), but ohhhh look, the first 2 rows were only £17.50, bargain! After stuttering at the poor box office lady (I always do it), we had 'em! Were warned we might be sprayed with 'blood', but hmmm, I think she was talking in code....more on that later. This was the final preview, so hopefully it was the final version of the show we were seeing.

Had a few hours to spare, so coffee and a bit of shopping. Into Dress Circle (or "Drag Circle" as my sister calls it), where my money evaporated. David got a 'Fiddler on the Roof' badge, so sweet (nasty people, just cos Alfred Molina is in it does not make it 'Fiddler Through the Roof'!!). As we returned to the Shaftsbury Theatre, an usher watched our approach from across the street, and I could see the look in his eyes as he stared me up and down - "YOU had better not even think of entering this theatre dressed like THAT!" Just walk in, and make eye contact with no one!

Inside was quite huge, though from Row S back the stalls had been closed off (hmmm). Couldn't find the toilets, so asked an usher, who pointed me in the direction of the big glowing words saying "TOILETS". Urgh. As is the trend for us seeing shows recently, the front row was empty, so had no giant hairstyle obscuring the stage. In saying that, couldn't see the feet of the actors. No problem you think, but at the end when (SPOILER!) Bat Boy died, I couldn't see him. Is he dead? What happened? It looks like that woman's craddling something... So I *think* he died. Someone did!

And so the show started. There were projections onstage, like Jerry Springer the Opera, though I found these slightly more intrusive, not sure why. I'm not a great fan of all that, feels like I'm almost back home watching tv. The first time I saw We Will Rock You, I admittedly watched the screens in the background most of the evening, and would look onstage to see so and so on their back getting kicked around. Eh?? So anyway, there was the whole ensemble, singing the opening number 'Hold Me, Bat Boy' (the only one I can remember clearly, I admit), and at one point, they all pointed out to the audience shouting "Freak", and ...*sigh*...I got pointed at by quite a few people ;) Bloody shirt. Y'know, I do love the idea of the ensemble playing multiple roles, and let's face it, a guy in drag can always get a laugh! Although, the young woman when in the role as the old guy was hilarious! (Did I hear right that she has a cow called "Gerty"??). Maurey Richards was by far the funniest guy onstage, especially when he was acting as Mrs Taylor - what a bust! And great as the gospel singer; looking slightly insane at us all to clap along. Rebecca Vere as the mother was funny, looked like she'd stepped outta one of those old American adverts for soap powder.Typically I like the bad guy the best, and John Barr as Dr Thomas Parker was excellent, a great singer. Grew better the more insane he got, running around stage with that needle! Am hoping they release a London cast recording, he was great. One of these days I'm gonna see a show/ watch a film/ read a book, and NOT like the baddie the best. I'm so predictable.

And onto the star of the show, Deven May as Bat Boy/ Edgar. I've mixed feelings. I think he was brilliant as Edgar, portraying a really sweet character (loved how he learned all his manners off BBC tapes). He sung well too. Buuuuut, I dunno, it's the character of Bat Boy I'm not too great a fan of. Maybe we were sitting too close, and it all just seemed a bit too grissly. Also, I've visisted someone in a mental patient hospital quite a few times, and he reminded me of the people in there. So no, it's not him, it was more the audience reaction, of laughing at him dribbling. Is a very weird performance. And then there's those pointed teeth ;) My sister told me she really couldn't understand much of what he said. I did, but um, let's just say that the amount of 'blood' (codename) that went flying had me lurching in my seat quite a few times. A warning for waterproof clothing? It was almost hypnotic. I don't mean to be horrible at all, really I don't! Mr May is a talented guy - he can sing whilst hanging from a bar, c'mon!

My sister called herself an old prude for not liking the forest scene with, "everyone bloody humping each other on stage". Y'know, that scene started off well, with the guy coming out with the horns and stilts (this is sounding more and more bizarre), and the animals looked amusing. But then it all went a bit too low brow for me. Was that the main 2 characters naked just then??? There were these 2 right on front of us just going for it - I think I must have sat there, slightly leaning foward, eyes popping, with my jaw somewhere around my waist. You just won't get the full 'force' of it sitting further back. A scene not needed at all. Of course, most of the audience were in hysterics, and it did make me smirk at first. But too long. Other fave songs were 'Dance With Me, Darling' and 'Three Bedroom House' - the mother was priceless in it!

I don't know who this show appeals to. Before entering, I would have said my age group, though there were none in there. I think it will do ok, just wasn't up there for me. Everyone in the audience laughed so much (a woman nearby actually laughed "Tee hee!" - style. Asti says she laughed just a little too long, and would then stop abruptly), and clearly enjoyed themselves. I will say that it was certainly an experience, and quite unique, but not something I'd see for a while. Too much to see this autumn! One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest! Grand Hotel! His Dark Materials! Gyah, why haven't I won the lottery yet?
(7TH SEPTEMBER 2004)

AFTERTHOUGHT: A few months on now, after seeing the show, I can now honestly say that I really didn't enjoy the show at all. I feel spending £17 was too much as it was! It is now used as a bit of a joke amongst friends, like "Oh that show was bad, but not like Bat Boy!" Sorry to be mean, but there are countless other shows that haven't made it over here (like Urinetown or The Scarlet Pimpernel) yet *this* did? Madness.

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