I'll gather my breath. I'll walk out of my room. I'll know exactly where I'm going to go. The voice in my head tells me exactly where to go.
In the opulent grandeur of a European city, a renowned singer abandons the opera house for the truth of the streets. A gorgeous prostitute. A tough-talking taxi driver. A global trader. A teenage dreamer. Everyone's looking for something.
Simon Stephens's strange and beautiful play re-imagines Bizet's opera Carmen and the possibility of love in a fractured urban world.
Carmen Disruption received its world premiere at the Deutsche Schauspielhaus, Hamburg, in March 2014 and its UK premiere at the Almeida Theatre on 10 April 2015.
About the Author
Olivier-Award-winner Simon Stephens is one of Britain's best-loved playwrights. The author of more than twenty stage plays, including Punk Rock, Port, Three Kingdoms and Pornography, as well as the celebrated adaptation of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, he is a former tutor on the Royal Court Young Writers Programme. Awards include the Pearson Award for Best New Play, 2001, for Port; Olivier Award for Best New Play for On the Shore of the Wide World, 2005; Best Foreign Playwright, as voted by German critics in Theater Heute's annual poll, 2007; the Critics' Awards for Theatre in Scotland for Best New Play, 2008 for Pornography; and the Olivier Award for Best New Play, 2013, for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.
"Simon Stephens' radical, fractured response to Bizet's famous opera . . . These are lonely souls, yearning for love, home, a sense of self and real connection in an age of superficial digital communication and narcissistic, illusory identities. How did we get from the passion and beauty of "L'amour est un ouiseau rebelle" to the arid twitterings of social media? Stephen evinces a timely sense of a modern malaise.” – Daily Telegraph
“Stephens reimagines characters from Bizet's opera as avatars of current concerns about the saminess of the world cities in which we walk around wedded to our iPhones, together but alone. . . . Above all, Stephens gets his varied characters' need for something more solid than an iPhone to hold on to as they carry out their Skyped love affairs, nine-figure business transactions, unaccompanied nights at the opera. . . . fascinating.” – The Times
“Simon Stephens's extraordinary new play is less a recreation of the opera than a deconstruction of it, reflecting on the strangeness of a singer's vagabond life, our frantic dependence on social media and the increasing homogeneity of modern European cities. It is a crowded work, but a totally compelling one. . . . Stephens uses the framework of the opera to explore the fragmented isolation of modern life. . . . in Stephens's world, loneliness is accompanied by a helpless reliance on social media and new technology.” – Guardian