(Susannah Clapp’s article appeared in the Guardian, 4/26.)

The sound can be heard right across London. Theatrical classics are being cracked open. That has been David Lan’s special project at the Young Vic. Now, at Rupert Goold’s galvanic Almeida, there is an explosive example of fracture and rediscovery. It’s called Carmen Disruption.

For maximum impact, first disrupt your theatre. The audience for Simon Stephens’s new play have to pick their way to their seats past a dressing room where a diva is humming, and on to the stage, past two cellists (upright) and the body of a huge bull (recumbent). At least as disconcerting for Almeida habitues, their brick and iron palace has become a conventional opera house, with a gilded circle and a chandelier. This thanks to Lizzie Clachan’s design and Jack Knowles’s lighting.


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