Matthew Bourne's The Car Man is a dance production by British choreographer Matthew Bourne. It previewed for the first time on Tuesday, May 16th, 2000 at the Theatre Royal in Plymouth, England, and was subsequently staged at the Old Vic in London in September of that year.
The music for the production is based on Russian composer Rodion Shchedrin's Bolshoi Ballet version of Georges Bizet's opera Carmen (1875), with additional music by composer Terry Davies. However, the story differs completely from the plot of the opera. Instead, it is loosely based on James M. Cain's novel The Postman Always Rings Twice (1934), and the 1946 and 1981 films of the same name. The ballet is notable for its frank depictions of violence and sex, including homoeroticism.
The action takes place in the 1960s over a period of nine months in a small Italian American community in the fictional mid-western town of Harmony, USA. The following is an unofficial interpretation of The Car Man as Matthew Bourne does not believe in scenarios for his productions and prefers the audience to interpret the story for themselves.
The ballet begins with the sound of a car engine revving. In the Prologue, Luca, a drifter,