Cast members of a musical based on Meat Loaf’s Bat Out Of Hell album have vowed to “keep the flame of rock and roll burning” for him in a post-show tribute.
Bat Out Of Hell: The Musical, a loose retelling of Peter Pan set in post-apocalyptic Manhattan, features many of the US rocker’s most notable songs and is on a UK tour.
Following Meat Loaf’s death aged 74, Friday’s show at the New Wimbledon Theatre was performed in his memory, with lead actors Rob Fowler and Sharon Sexton leading a tribute to him.
Fans packed out the venue for the performance on Friday with audience members cheering and dancing through the final number, Rock And Roll Dreams Come Through.
The theatre told the PA news agency ticket sales for the show shot up by 40% in the hours since the singer’s death was announced on Friday morning.
“We had 700 seats gone and there were 1,000 full tonight,” a representative said.
In a joint speech after the performance, Fowler, who plays the character of Falco, and Sexton, who plays the character Sloane, told the audience: “He was a man with a big heart, a bigger personality and the iconic voice that made Jim Steinman’s music fly.
“He was a huge inspiration to Jim, a huge inspiration to this show and a huge inspiration to all of you and all of us.
“We’ve dedicated this to his honour and we promise you, Meat, wherever you are, that we are going to keep the flame of rock and roll burning.
“Meat Loaf, we love you, and may the beat be yours forever.”
Sexton told the PA news agency before the show: “I think the music will never be the same again.”
She added: “When you’re a performer you might get one song in a show or maybe two songs in a show where you go ‘oh yeah, that’s the one that is the pinnacle, that is the anthem’ but every single song (in the musical) is an anthem.
“And so I think as soon as the music chords starts tonight, it’s going to be incredibly moving.”
Sexton said the rocker had been “warm, open and supportive” of the cast members when he met them, adding she feels “shocked and very sad” following his death.
A statement from the production said: “The company of Jim Steinman’s Bat Out Of Hell The Musical here in the UK is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of their great friend and producer, Meat Loaf.
“He was with us when the show first launched in London at the Coliseum and in Manchester at the Opera House back in 2016 and then came to the show at the Dominion Theatre in London on July 25 2018.”
It added: “The beat is yours forever.”
Bunches of roses were left in honour of the musician after the performance’s end.
Posting a picture of the floral tribute, the musical’s Twitter account said: “Red roses for the unforgettable Meat Loaf.
“The beat is ours forever.”