Photo credit: New Adventures
Matthew Bourne, in conjunction with New Adventures, brings The Car Man to Sheffield's Lyceum theatre. As expected it is a contemporary reworking of Carmen though sticking to the original music with arrangements by Rodion Shchedrin and Terry Davies. The story is set in an Italian-American community in a small mid western American town and at the beginning of the 1960s. The production maybe different from Carmen but the thematic parallels are there and like the actual opera; lust, passion, jealously, murder and revenge. These things are quintessential in today's society and what is interesting is the Carmen revival has included what one sees and hears in the 21st Century.
The Car Man focuses purely on the thematic emotions and Harmony, name of the small town, could not be any more ironic. Matthew Bourne's ingenious production never disappoints with its incredible dancing and interpretations from a very talented cast including Dominic North (as an innocent Angelo whose injustices and misfortunes lead to revenge), Chris Trenfield (as the charming, manipulative and villainous Luca), Kate Lyons (as the long suffering Rita) and Ashley Shaw (as Lana who one thinks is quintessential to Carmen though in different circumstances).
The rustic feel of a mid western small town is designed thoroughly by Lez Brotherston. There are Chris Davey's lighting and Paul Groothuis's sound to be admired and attribute really well to this incredible performance. The Car Man is worth seeing and well received by all in Sheffield from generous applauses to an immediate standing ovation at beginning of curtain call.
I'm now looking forward to seeing Sleeping Beauty next year in Bradford!