REVIEW: Matthew Bourne’s The Car Man, Theatre Royal, Newcastle, Until May 9

DANCE SHOW ... The Car Man.
DANCE SHOW ... The Car Man.
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MATTHEW Bourne’s The Car Man is sharp, sexy and seductive.

This was the first of the choreographer and director’s shows that I’ve seen, but it certainly won’t be my last.

It can be easy to write contemporary dance off as something that’s ‘not your thing’ – which I’ll admit is what I had done – but I couldn’t have been more wrong.

I loved every second of the steamy and sensuous show.

Loosely based on Bizet’s famous opera, Carmen, the show is set in a greasy garage-diner in 1960s America where the dreams and passions of a small town 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.

The Car Man is overwhelmingly atmospheric and it’s sure to get you hot under the collar.

Within the first five minutes, the audience was given quite an eyeful as cast members stepped into the showers and whipped their towels off.

The full frontal male nudity came as quite a surprise to many people watching the show, but it was happily welcomed.

The show, from company New Adventures, stars a plethora of beautiful girls and gorgeous guys, so getting a glimpse of their bare flesh was quite the treat.

DANCING SHOW ... Matthew Bourne's The Car Man is at the Theatre Royal, Newcastle. Jonathan Ollivier as Luca.

DANCING SHOW ... Matthew Bourne's The Car Man is at the Theatre Royal, Newcastle. Jonathan Ollivier as Luca.

The famous soundtrack is instantly recognisable and Bourne’s choreography is impeccably on-point. It fits perfectly with every beat of the music and tells the story vividly.

With not one spoken word throughout the show, you may think it would be hard to follow the storyline, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

It’s amazing how lucidly the story and identity of the characters comes across – dance really is a universal language.

The performance of each dancer is breathtaking and the show is simply stunning.

It can be easy to write contemporary dance off as something that’s ‘not your thing’ – which I’ll admit is what I had done – but I couldn’t have been more wrong.

The sheer athleticism and physical prowess displayed by the dancers is out of this world and the way they perform the complex and beautiful choreography is far beyond impressive.

Jonny Ollivier and Zizi Strallen, who took the leading roles of Luca and Lana, respectively, on press night, blew everybody away.

The seductive way they danced together, as they were consumed by passion, was breathtaking.

The cast, who swap roles at each performance, were embroiled in a number of steamy sex scenes – both heterosexual and homosexual – that were magnetic to watch.

The show is emotive, steamy, powerful and provocative, and like nothing I’ve ever seen before.

The use of fake blood in fight scenes adds to the grittier side of the show and gives a fantastic effect.

DANCING SHOW ... Matthew Bourne's The Car Man is at the Theatre Royal, Newcastle.

DANCING SHOW ... Matthew Bourne's The Car Man is at the Theatre Royal, Newcastle.

If you’ve never seen one of Matthew Bourne’s shows before, I’d urge you to give it a go – you certainly won’t regret it. I don’t.

The Car Man runs at the Theatre Royal until Saturday, May 9. Click here to book tickets.

Twitter: @ShieldsGazVicki

SHOWER SCENE ... Matthew Bourne's The Car Man is at the Theatre Royal, Newcastle.

SHOWER SCENE ... Matthew Bourne's The Car Man is at the Theatre Royal, Newcastle.