One of Matthew Bourne’s great calling cards is the way he takes a well-known story, gives it a whopping big shake and then twists it into something uniquely his. The Car Man is no exception. Based on Bizet’s famous opera Carmen, Bourne has transported the action away from the cigarette factories of 19th century Seville and shifted it to a garage-diner in 1960s America. The emotional carnage, however, remains the same.
When it was first performed in 2000 it won the Evening Standard Award for ‘Musical Event of the Year’ and the Los Angeles Drama Critics Award for ‘Best Choreography’. Now it’s touring the UK once again and is stopping off at the New Wimbledon Theatre in April 2015.
One of the wonderful aspects of Bourne’s philosophy about live performance is that whether his work is gracing Broadway, the West End or Leicester, you always get the full staging and the Company’s very best dancers. In that spirit Wimbledon gets both Jonathan Ollivier and Chris Trenfield alternating the role of Luca (the eponymous Car Man) and dancers of the calibre of Ashley Shaw, Zizzi Strallen, Dominic North and Liam Mower in the major supporting roles. Not only that but the original Luca from 2000, Alan Vincent, is returning to play Dino.
Add in some fantastic re-workings of Bizet’s music and Lez Brotherston’s exciting stage designs and it should all make for a thrilling evening.
The Car Man runs at the New Wimbledon Theatre from 21-25 April 2015. You can get tickets on the theatre’s website.