Not just for petrolheads

The Car Man

The Car Man

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Matthew Bourne’s acclaimed dance thriller The Car Man steers back to Salford’s Lowry arts centre next week on its first tour in eight years.

One of Bourne’s most popular shows, it was first seen in 2000 and last revised in 2007.

Loosely based on Bizet’s popular opera it has one of the most thrilling and instantly recognisable scores featuring Schedrin’s powerful Carmen Suite and new arrangements of Bizet’s legendary score.

The familiar 19th century Spanish cigarette factory becomes 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 film noir heat and desire, the inhabitants are driven into an unstoppable spiral of greed, lust, betrayal and revenge.

Matthew Bourne says: “The Car Man has always been a training ground for the finest actor/dancers .”

It’s suitable for ages 12 +. And there are Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday matinees. Box Office: 0843 208 6000 or www.thelowry.com

A new musical show, Judy - The Life And Music Of A Hollywood Legend, arrives at the Palace in Manchester from next Thursday to Saturday.

Choreographer, theatre director and one-time Strictly Come Dancing judge Arlene Phillips is creative director on a production that stars Lorna Luft, Judy Garland’s daughter, together with leading West End musical theatre stars.

Louise Dearman, Rachel Stanley and Ray Quinn appear along with Judy’s dancers – The Boyfriends, named after the star’s original dancers of the same name.

The production includes film clips and interviews together with classic songs from some of Judy’s popular films such as A Star is Born, Meet Me in St. Louis, Easter Parade and The Wizard of Oz.

The set will include I Got Rhythm, The Trolley Song, The Man That Got Away, Get Happy, Zing! Went the strings of my Heart, and – naturally enough – Over the Rainbow.

Judy – The Life And Music Of A Legend, has Arlene Phillips as Creative Director and is directed by Christopher Manoe. Box office: 0844 8713018 or www.atgtickets.com/manchester

No sooner has Manchester’s new cultural centre HOME opened than one of its productions moves out of the venue into a site-specific performance space in the city.

There will be two performances of 5 Soldiers, presented by the Rosie Kay Dance Company, at Rusholme Army Reserve Centre next Friday and Saturday.

Created in 2010 and originally commissioned by the International Dance Festival Birmingham, it is performed by one female and four male dancers.

For this tour, the dancers devoted a week of their demanding six-week rehearsal schedule living and working as full-time soldiers on a military exercise with The 4th Battalion, The Rifles.

Exploring the physical effects of combat and war, 5 Soldiers is a timely and poignant exploration of war in the 21st century, which demonstrates how soldiers are made, and how war affects them.

Scenes of violence and a sexual nature; parental guidance. Box office: 0161 200 1500 or www.homemcr.org/5-soldiers/

One of Manchester’s premiere fringe companies, Vertigo Theatre Productions - recently nominated for three awards at the Manchester Theatre Awards for the hit play Watching Goldfish Suffocate - bring a powerful new drama, Last Dance, to the Kings Arms in Salford from next Tuesday to Saturday.

It takes an intimate look back to a time when Aids threatened to wipe out out a generation and focuses on a group of friends and family affected by the outbreak. The play also examines the brave decisions made in the worst possible situations.

Details: www.vertigotheatreproductions.co.uk