Bat out of hell

Bat Out Of Hell comes to Wimbledon!

Bat Out Of Hell comes to Wimbledon!

We chat to the stars of the show, Rob Fowler and Sharon Sexton about chemistry on stage, the “new normal” and living theatre life…

Image: Rob Fowler as Falco and Sharon Sexton as Sloane in BAT OUT OF HELL THE MUSICAL. Photo Credit – Chris Davis Studio 

Bat Out of Hell is back in London! No doubt happy news for all theatre aficionados who loved the original production back in 2019. Rob Fowler and Sharon Sexton, a couple on stage and in real life, originated the roles of Falco and Sloane in the World Premiere of the musical in 2017, and are reprising their roles in the new production. Having met while working on the musical, they also formed their double act Sexton & Fowler, selling out multiple cabaret shows in prestigious venues such as The Other Palace. 

But does being a couple off stage really make it easier to be a couple on stage– or, quite the contrary? “Definitely easier!” Sharon laughs. “At least for Rob and I. To be able to share these amazing experiences with your partner really adds to the dynamic in our relationship.”

The couple understands each other without words: “Eye contact, touch is enough. It’s lovely to be able to share that. It’s very, very special. It’s incredible to be with the person you love in the show you’re so excited about” 

There is hardly any show more suitable to start off the new year with a bang than Bat Out Of Hell. A perfectly escapist piece of theatre fuelled by music by Jim Steinman and Meatloaf is exactly what London theatre needs – not only after the past 18 months of darkness but also the extremely grim December when a number of shows had to close to stop the spread of the Omicron variant.

“There’s no better escape than Jim (Steinman’s) music. It’s the best rollercoaster in the theatre”, Rob says. And he couldn’t be more right – featuring such hits as “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That)” and “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now”, it’s a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. And personally, BOOH’s rendition of “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” was my number one in 2020 on Spotify Wrapped: “You won’t listen to this song the same way again once you see it on stage!”, Sharon laughs. And adds: “We’re really looking forward to performing in Wimbledon. There are many people in London who didn’t have a chance to see the show the first time ‘round”.   

Sharon and Rob are rejoicing at being back: “When we entered the rehearsal room in 2021 the entire cast was just so excited. It’s a mostly new cast, they are amazing. We are also grateful for the audiences, they were so hungry in all the venues we’ve been to so far”, Rob says.

The safety measures are still very much in place. “We are extremely careful, regularly sanitizing, no sharing props, and we’ve been very lucky as so far no one tested positive”, Sharon admits. “Theatre is one of the cleanest and safest environments. The level of safety is very high”, adds Rob, “I travel on public transport every day – that’s more of a challenge!”.

For actors, their job is not something they can easily clock in and out of – it’s a lifestyle. “It all just became parts of our daily routine”, remarks Sharon.  

And what’s next for the creative duo? Says Rob: “The future? To write songs together, to engage with other songwriters, and to push new material. To live our theatre life.”  

Bat Out of Hell runs in New Wimbledon Theatre from 18 January to 29 January