x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Batman poised to make his stage debut

Undeterred by the problems besetting the Spider Man musical on Broadway, another superhero is about to tread the boards.

Peter Parker's alter ego certainly encountered some problems in his time. Almost as many, you could say, as Broadway's Spider Man, Turn Off the Dark. The now notoriously problem-plagued production has become the most expensive theatre show ever, opening night has been delayed several times and there have been a number of cast injuries. All of this has been very well documented in the media.

So it perhaps comes as a surprise that another comic book superhero is winging his way on to the stage. Oh yes, Batman is going on a world arena tour, with the Batmobile (created by Formula One car designer Gordon Murray), Robin and the Joker in tow.

Although production costs of £12million (Dh72m) are far less than Spider Man's £40m, Batman Live has been billed as a high-octane tour de force, with daring stunts, circus acrobatics and a dystopian Gotham City to boot. The action will, according to the creative director Anthony Van Laast, have something of a rock and roll edge, designed to enthral audiences. It isn't, he has said, with a not so subtle nod towards the problems faced by the Spider Man show, a musical, but an action-filled stage extravaganza charting Dick Grayson's transformation from orphaned circus performer to Batman's trusty sidekick, Robin.

Batman Live will premiere in the UK in July, an event which will mark the theatre debut of the Caped Crusader, who first appeared in an issue of Detective Comics in 1939.