The story of the gypsy seductress whose beauty and cunning leads men astray, Carmen is one of theatre’s most iconic characters and the original empowered woman, set in a classic story of love and betrayal, sex and death.
Set in 1845, Spain, an ambitious soldier, Jose, leaves family and home for Madrid. The beautiful gypsy Carmen, whose charms entangle the proud soldier leading him to desertion and murder, soon captivates him. His devoted wife Micaela, tries in vain to win him back, but Jose’s growing, possessive obsession with Carmen prevails, destroying his marriage and ultimately pushing the free-spirited Carmen into the arms of star bullfighter, Escamillo. Her reluctance to commit to Jose after his personal sacrifice and her romance with Escamillo, leads to the story’s unforgettable finale.
Resolute in life, passionate and strong to the end, Carmen knows her fate and fulfills her promise to live free and die free.
CARMEN is not a morality story. It is infused with flesh and blood characters that move in their own world where the dance between the bullfighter and the bull is a metaphor for love and power. And in which the physical and emotional power of Flamenco, with restraint and release ebbing and flowing like an act of love, is an additional language the creators use to express their vision.
Sarah Miles’ adaptation remains true to the tale, by striving to find the honest, human element, which makes all mythic tales universal and immortal, reminding us that the likes of Medea and Jason, Romeo and Juliet, Carmen and Jose continue to walk amongst us. With Carmen’s passion, Jose’s obsession, Micaela’s devotion, and Escamillo’s fame, the stage is set for this timeless, tragic love story.