Car Man resize

By Sandra Jenkins

The Car Man, from Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures company, is an award-winning dance thriller which contains all the elements of a “ Film Noir” loosely based on Bizet’s Carmen, Grease and the novel The Postman Always Rings Twice. The Live Screening was from the Sadlers Wells performance from the tour in 2015.

The set opens in a small American town of Harmony, pop 365, during the 1960s and is focused in a sleazy garage/diner. A handsome stranger arrives and sparks the passion, sexual tension and frustration of small-town life. The choreography masterfully creates a feeling of heat and desire, betrayal, violence, murder and revenge at a spectacular physical pace. Is this ballet or modern dance? The dancing was a combination of ballet, flamenco, stunning athleticism all served with a touch of West End stage.

The love triangle story unfolds to underlying, instantly recognisable music from the opera with additional music by composer Terry Davies and the story is told purely by the dance moves which are superb in their timing, fluidity and musicality.

Zizi Strallen plays the key role of the frustrated housewife Lana, Kate Lyons plays her waitress sister Rita, Alan Vincent as Dino the alcoholic bullying garage owner and husband of Lana, Dominic North as Angelo a hired help who is framed for murder and Christopher Trenfield as the drifter Luca who mesmerising women and men alike to his own evil gains.

This was another Matthew Bourne triumph that we were privileged to watch as a Live Screening here in Worthing. Even if you are not a fan of ballet this was a visual feast that left your senses reeling and hopefully will have converted the audience to come back for more.