New Details Released About BATMAN LIVE

The producers of the Batman Live arena extravaganza have just released some new details about the production which will have its world premiere in Manchester in July.

It is going to be like no play audiences have ever seen because it will be performed in Britain’s biggest, grandest arenas rather than theatres. According to the Telegraph, “There will be acrobatics, pyrotechnics, stuntmen, supervillains and screeching Batmobiles on a 100ft-wide, 60ft-deep performance area. Behind them, a giant video wall will flash panels from comic strips and special effects, and give the appearance of interacting with the live performers on stage.”

This sounds interesting, but has me concerned seeing as how it seems to be as large of a production as the much maligned $65 million Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark.  With serious accidents and complicated acrobatic maneuvers Spider-Man is on shaky ground. For Spider-Man to succeed it must be able to recoup its initial investment and $1million a week running costs and to do that it will have to be the city’s biggest draw for not just one year, but many years to come.

One of the major differences about Batman Live is that it has much less expensive ticket prices. The show will go on the road after it’s Manchester debut, heading to nine British and Irish cities over the following 11 weeks. There will with up to three 85 minute performances per day. If it fills the seats for each of it’s shows, Batman Live will have played to half a million Britons before its October move to Europe.

That means that Batman Live will have to get one per cent of the national population to see the show. That may sound ambitious, but it is par for the course for veteran producer Nick Grace. He was behind the previous arena-filling, multimillion-pound-making shows based on hit ‘properties’ Mamma Mia! and Walking With Dinosaurs.

Grace is excited about he production because he is a childhoond fan of the comic. When he announced the ambitions show he revealed that he made “his own version of Batman’s utility belt,” and developed “his first crush on Catwoman.”

Even though this still may sound crazy to many, Batman Live has a built-in fanatical audience. In February an ancient issue of Superman became the first comic ever to sell for more than $1million. Three days later, the 1939 comic in which Batman first appeared, Detective Comics No 27, went for $75,000 more again. There have been video games, animated featuure-lenght films and dozens of cartoons which make Batman Live sound like a smart choice.

According to Geoff Johns, the writer responsible for Batman Live’s story, “his hero resonates because – like Harry Potter or Oliver Twist – ‘he’s an orphan. He’s experienced something that all of us can relate to – loss – that’s just a part of being alive and being a human.’”

Fans of Robin need not worry. The show will open with the trapeze show at which Robin’s parents, circus act The Flying Graysons, are killed. Then the show will have a rapid sequence of scenes that are right around two minutes, which will keep the momentum up and and audiences entertained.

One of the big spectacles that Grace notes as one of the show’s ‘seven or eight, “Wow!” moments’ is an onstage disaster. It will involve a hot-air balloon and a Joker face whose eyes, teeth and hair are made up of dozens of dancers.

Here are two other photos courtesy of the Telegraph:

Does this sound like a show you are interested in seeing?
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Jim Napier

Jim Napier

Lover of movies and The Big Lebowski.