With Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark fully revealed to the public (and struggling to evolve into a show worth paying more attention to) it’s time to get more detail on the next superhero stage spectacular. That would be Batman Live, which is planned to premiere in Manchester this July, and which will then embark upon a tour of arenas in the UK and Europe before moving to US arenas in summer 2012.

Producer Nick Grace (Walking With Dinosaurs, Mamma Mia!) promises a huge scale and went with arenas because they can accommodate “pyrotechnics and large video screens and lots of action.”

Now you can see some set designs for the show, which certainly seem to use the potential for a large scale.

If the sets come together like that, they’ll be visually impressive, for certain. Lots of room for movement and action, and the circus set promises good stuff for the telling of Robin’s origin. That’s part of the show’s opening, so it sounds like Batman Live will hit the ground running.

But can the story stand up? Alan Burnett and Stan Berkowitz, whose credits include both the Batman and Superman animated television shows as well as Justice League: The New Frontier animated movie, are writing. And from comments made in the past, it sounds like this is set up to be a very fast-paced thing that allows the action to take center stage. Scenes are said to be just a couple of minutes long, so this is going to be ADD theater on a gigantic scale.

The Telegraph offers up these images, and says to expect a running time of around 85 minutes at a ticket price far less than most Broadway shows.

The paper describes,

…a play of sorts, but it’s going to be performed in Britain’s biggest, grandest arenas rather than theatres. 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…There will be an onstage disaster with a hot-air balloon and a Joker face whose eyes, teeth and hair are made up of dozens of dancers – each surely counting as one of what Grace says are the show’s ‘seven or eight, “Wow!” moments’.

Here’s the official info:

Based on an original story being created exclusively for the show, BATMAN LIVE is a theatrical extravaganza of thrilling stunts, acrobatic acts and illusions. Never before has Gotham City, Wayne Manor, the Batcave and Arkham Asylum been brought to life on stage in a more visually exciting way. Join Batman and Robin as they battle their nemesis The Joker and other super-villains such as The Riddler, Catwoman, The Penguin, Two-Face and Harley Quinn, set on destroying Gotham City. entic, bold and awe-inspiring, BATMAN LIVE will be a completely new way to experience the world of Batman. This is one adventure you do not want to miss!

BATMAN LIVE is based on an original story being created exclusively for the show. Creative Director is Anthony Van Laast and Co-Director, James Powell. Set design by Es Devlin, music composed by James Brett, sound design by Simon Baker, lighting design by Patrick Woodroffe, video direction by Sam Pattinson, costume design by Jack Galloway. Circus sequences created, produced and managed in association with Circus Space with Bryan Donaldson and Juliette Hardy-Donaldson as circus consultants.

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