Batman stage show to thrill comic hero fans

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BATMAN is set to swoop on to the Nottingham Arena stage as the story of the comic book hero and his sidekick Robin is brought to life in spectacular fashion.

The Dark Knight will take on a gang of his arch enemies, led by the insane Joker, in Batman Live - a non-stop family friendly thrill ride across Gotham City.

It marks the first time Batman has been brought to the stage - and the team behind it hope their version will match the success of the recent film versions of the story and the extraordinarily popular comics.

Producer Nick Grace said this week: “Batman will be a totally unique experience. This is not a musical but a high quality live show with a thrilling Batman story, filled with action, that will appeal to adults, teenagers and families.

“Batman is more than a comic book character, he’s a cultural phenomenon and we are proud to have this opportunity to be involved with one of the most popular DC Super Heroes in the world today.”

The show is based on the story of young Dick Grayson (Robin), a circus performer who loses his parents to organised crime.

Robin’s quest for justice leads him to follow in the footsteps of his hero, the mysterious vigilante known as the Batman – much to the dismay of his protective guardian, millionaire Bruce Wayne – who secretly happens to be Batman.

It is a journey which transports the audience from the Big Top of Haly’s Circus to the lower depths of Arkham Asylum – from the glittering peaks of the Penguin’s Iceberg Lounge to the hero’s layer - the Batcave.

Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson - both orphaned at an early age - must first learn to overcome their own fears and forge their own family - along with Police Commissioner James Gordon and Bruce’s trusted butler, Alfred Pennyworth - if they’re going to survive the combined forces of Batman’s larger-than-life rogues’ gallery: The Joker, The Penguin, Catwoman, The Riddler, Two-Face, Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy.

Script writer Allan Heinberg, whose credits include Sex and the City and Grey’s Anatomy, said: “I am delighted to be joining a team as committed to delivering an unparalleled visual spectacle, as they are to telling a compelling, emotional story.

“Batman Live is lovingly faithful to the characters and their distinguished history and it provides a unique opportunity for new and lifelong fans to experience Batman and his world as they never have before.”

Chad was lucky enough to enjoy a sneak preview of the show when rehearsals took place at Nottingham Arena last month.

The crew of stage performers and acrobats were taking part in an intriguing routine involving a giant effigy of Joker’s face - with the cast taking on the role of his eyes and teeth.

We also saw the 50-tonne suspended walk way which allows the performers to take part in spectacular high-rise battles.

The unveiling of Batman’s vehicle of choice, the Batmobile, is one of the most anticipated events of any Batman production.

Batman Live’s machine should live up to expectations after being designed by the legendary Gordon Murray - the renowned creator of the iconic McClaren F1 road car.

And the influence of Formula One on this Batmobile is clear, with an aerodynamic shape suggestive of a race car from 20 years in the future.

Said Nick: “It’s extraordinary. Gordon designed it to do all the things we say it can do.”

Batman Live takes place at Nottingham Arena from 14th to 18th September, with tickets priced from £20 available on 08444 124624.

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