Review: The Car Man, Lyceum

Matthew Bourne's The Car Man
Matthew Bourne's The Car Man
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Even the efficient new air conditioning in the theatre failed to cool off this sizzlingly sexy show!

Matthew Bourne uses the iconic music from Carmen to tell a story very loosely based on the opera.

The action is set in a 1950s US garage and diner and the arrival of new garage hand Luca (Tim Hodges) creates the drama.

He has two love affairs, one with Lana (Zizi Strallen), the bored younger wife of swaggering garage owner Dino (Alan Vincent), and another with Angelo (Liam Mower), a young mechanic.

Luca teaches him how to defend himself against bullying workmates and then seduces him.

Angelo has a more innocent relationship with waitress Rita (Kate Lyons), also Lana’s younger sister.

She stands by her man when he is wrongly jailed for killing Dino, who is battered to death by Luca.

Events reach a bloody conclusion when Angelo escapes from jail.

The show is a triumph of dance-based storytelling and the dancers rise to the challenge.

The whole ensemble do a fantastic job but Kate Lyons and Liam Mower just edge out Zizi Strallen and Tim Hodges with beautiful dancing and acting.

Matthew said Tim is nursing an ankle injury but you’d never know, such was his professionalism.

It was also great to see Alan Vincent, the original Luca in 2000, return as an excellent Dino.