Car Man or, Matthew Bourne’s Car Man as it is billed on the marquee is a modern ballet based loosely on the film The Postman Only Rings Twice. The Music is Bizet’s Carmen, hence the ironic, witty title.
We went to see it at the Theatre Royal last night.
As I have mentioned before we quite like ballet, easily accessible things like this where you are not wondering if she is dancing to the Moscow method or is Paris-trained, suit us fine. It’s a bit long and a little bit tell not show for my taste with lengthy scenes in both halves of simulated bump-and-grind sex. It is set largely in a fifties American-style garage forecourt with the male dancers in greasy vests and jeans and the girls in halter-tops and bell-shaped skirts; the background is trashy noir flickering electric signs; the usual. But it works. Set dressing probably isn’t the place to express originality, it’s the energetic, sexy dancing we have come to see and it certainly races along.
We had excellent seats at the very front of the Circle but I was sorry to see that the theatre wasn’t full. Can’t be easy attracting Matthew Bourne’s Company to the provinces and a three-quarter full auditoria can only act as a discouragement; not to mention the Local Authority subsidy for the already rich middle-classes.
I liked the shower scene at the very beginning, not mentioned in any reviews I have read, clever and genuinely funny and I loved the French Cafe bit at the opening of the second half, also not mentioned by any critics; lovely piece of choreography. It was always absorbing with several things all going on on stage at once so that you were never sure where you should be looking.