Carmen @ Sadler’s Wells Review

A challenging work crated back in the latter part of the 1800s, Bizet‘s Carmen continues to stir emotion, the tale of an audacious young lady stealing the heart of a respectable Don José, a soldier committed to king and country and heartlessly abandoning his side once he’s left for the battlefield for another love interest – Escamillo, a fearless matador, a tumultuous tale that gets to the very heart of lust and love, and how they interlink and manifest. Carlos Acosta‘s Acosta Danza adapting the tale to embody the vitality of the 21st century, yet still in keeping with the traditional context of the piece

Acosta crafts a dynamic work able to meander between Carmen’s coquettishness, playfulness, tumultuousness and more vulnerable moments – Carmen the focus here, a woman that would otherwise be pushed aside societally – an energy actually quite powerful within her own femininity. The production a case study as to how someone’s charm and prowess can very easily entrance and bring about the descent of someone’s being if played around with.

Carmen‘s relevance still stands, we long for the right partnership and for this to not end miserably – however life can often times have its own plans. The back and forth between Don José, Escamillo and Carmen the show’s obvious main pull, but Carmen’s might in this particular production the stand out feature. If anything, the emotional turmoil between these three perhaps missing the heart that it truly needs to really make a significant mark – however I appreciate Carmen’s strength, especially within the times we’re currently in whereby we discuss women’s rights more so. The ensemble seamlessly tie the evening together well, bringing with them a unity, vivacity and power that captivates and entertains. Carmen serves as a reminder as to just how volatile connections can be, how all consuming love can be, and so we’re therefore asked to examine the phenomenon of love and how this can manifest, driving human connection.

Review written by Lucy Basaba.

Carmen was shown from Tuesday 2nd until Friday 6th July 2024 at Sadler’s Wells. To find out more about the production, visit here…

Written by Theatrefullstop