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Great Leap Forward

The Car Man

Fasten your seat belts... the Car Man is back! 

Matthew Bourne's internationally acclaimed dance/thriller was first seen in the West End in 2000, and went onto win the Evening Standard Award for “Musical Event of the Year”  and The Los Angeles Drama Critics Award for “Best Choreography”.

about production

The Car Man is loosely based on Bizet’s popular opera and has one of the most thrilling and instantly recognisable scores in New Adventures’ repertory, brilliantly arranged by Terry Davies.

The familiar 19th Century Spanish cigarette factory becomes a greasy garage-diner in 1960’s America where the dreams and passions of a small Italian/American community are shattered by the arrival of a handsome stranger. Fuelled by heat and desire, the inhabitants are driven into an unstoppable spiral of greed, lust, betrayal and revenge.

Lez Brotherston’s epic design, Chris Davey’s  evocative lighting and Matthew Bourne’s vivid storytelling take in a wealth of cinematic references from classic film noir to the European neo-realists, from Brando to Sophia Loren, creating a dangerous and uncompromising vision of small-town America.

audio and video



The Guardian
""THE CAR MAN drives with an urgency that at moments has our nerves and hearts at full stretch… body language so bright with wit and so fraught with emotional subtext that it's hard to believe not a line of dialogue has been spoken". "
""This is Bourne cooking on gas..""
The Independent on Sunday
""So edge-of-your-seat good, so well furnished that you have to pinch yourself to realise it’s done without words""
The Observer
""Tremendous wit and pace""
The Sunday Times
""Mesmerising... the Car Man is a triumph.""
The Daily Mail
""Electrifying, a dynamite dance of desire""
San Francisco Chronicle
""The music is Bizet, the atmosphere is steamy and the art of storytelling in movement is pure Bourne" "
""Gorgeously expressive, gripping. The storytelling is so concentrated that it feels at every moment on the verge of explosion: "