Prince Harry 'delighted' at Bat Out of Hell partnership with Invictus

By Alex Taylor
BBC News

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image captionBat Out of Hell is set in a dystopian future, inspired by Meat Loaf's 1977 album

A partnership between West End musical Bat Out of Hell and the Invictus Foundation has been met with delight by Prince Harry.

The year-long alliance will provide free tickets to the show, an arts job scheme and a "significant" donation to the Invictus Games foundation.

The games, founded by Prince Harry in 2014, are the only international event for injured servicemen and women.

The measures will be aimed at providing "relief and rehabilitation".

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image captionPrince Harry has championed the Invictus Games and foundation

A spokesperson for Invictus said: "Prince Harry is closely involved in the work of the foundation and takes a keen interest in its development. He is delighted that its work is being supported in this way."

To launch the partnership, an exclusive charity gala performance of Bat Out of Hell: The Musical will be held for Invictus Games competitors.

The award-winning production, directed by Jay Scheib, is inspired by the eponymous 1977 album from composer Jim Steinman and US rock singer Meat Loaf. Bat Out of Hell remains one of the most successful albums of all-time, selling 60 million copies worldwide.

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image captionAndrew Polec stars as Strat, alongside co-star Christina Bennington, who plays Raven in Bat Out of Hell

The musical - a futuristic love story set in a post-apocalyptic city - focuses on Strat, the rebellious leader of The Lost, as he falls in love with Raven, daughter of Falco, the tyrannical ruler of Obsidian.

Speaking to the BBC, the musical's general manager Julian Stoneman said its partnership with Invictus Games aims to help provide service personnel and their families with the opportunity to "escape for a few hours".

Benefits will also include assistance with travel costs to the show for those outside the city, as well as private tours.

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image captionPrince Harry founded the fames in 2014

There will also be inclusive family support workshops, based, Stoneman says, on the understanding that "war affects many people in different ways".

Other major plans include an employment workshop - run by the show's producers - for veterans interested in transitioning into the arts.

"This is a grassroots initiative," Stoneman adds. "We want those affected to be a part of the community that is very special - the entertainment industry is there not just to to entertain, but also to invoke emotions," he says.

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image captionBat Out of Hell the album was co-written by Meat Loaf

Prince Harry has been heavily involved in the work of the foundation and has taken a "keen interest" in the partnership.

The fourth annual Invictus Games will take place in Sydney, Australia from 20-27 October 2018, welcoming more than 500 competitors from 18 nations.

Dominic Reid, CEO of the Invictus Games Foundation added they were "thrilled" to be chosen by the show.

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