When supermarket check-out girl Carmen brazenly flirts with the new security guard Don Jose, much to the confusion and embarrassment of his fiancée Micaela, things get even more complicated as Carmen’s ex-boyfriend turned TikTok celebrity Escamillo also shows up.

Follow our characters’ entangled love stories in this bold contemporary re-imagining of the classic Carmen story for London life today.

With a re-imagined score for violin, accordion and bassoon by acclaimed young composer Leo Geyer of Bizet’s famous tunes and a colloquial contemporary English libretto by director and librettist Joanna Turner, this daring new production placed Bizet’s characters directly on today’s high street. 

Baseless Fabric returned to the Arcola Theatre’s Grimeborn Opera Festival following 2019’s sell-out Die Fledermaus (★★★★ The Guardian, ★★★★ The Stage) and recent Cosi Fan Tutte, which was an Off West End Award Finalist for Best Opera Production. We also presented the re-imagining in our classic Street Opera performances across the boroughs of Merton and Wandsworth.



Carmen for the TikTok generation hits the right notes at Grimeborn.- , Evening Standard
Joanna Turner’s libretto is intentionally crisp and thrillingly modern.- London Unattached
The great strength of the production overall is the confident ensemble established between all the performers… Baseless Fabric Theatre are a tight weave indeed!- , British Theatre
Everything in the show makes for richly enjoyable and quick entertainment; it showcases Bizet’s opera honourably, and makes the medium of opera accessible and unscary.- , Reviews Hub
An intimate and suitably revolutionary Carmen is born.- London Unattached
A glorious mash-up of Bizet’s marvellous music and a modern take on the feisty and freedom loving young woman- , Plays To See


Creative Team

Leo Geyer – Arranger/MD
Joanna Turner – Director & Librettist
Marina Hadjilouca – Designer
Joe Price  Lighting Designer
Natalia Bogdanova Fight Director
Petros Kourtellaris Associate Designer
Emily Noble – Stage Manager
Emma Peace – ASM


Felicity Buckland – Carmen (Arcola)
Susannah Horowitz – Carmen (Street Opera)
Jonathan Cooke – Don Jose
Claire Wild – Micaela
Nicholas Morris – Escamillo


Leo Geyer – Bassoon
Louisa Till – Violin
Ilona Suomalainen – Accordion



Performance Dates

Date Time Location Tickets: £12 – £30
Tue 9th Aug  7pm ARCOLA THEATRE
Arcola Theatre, E8 3DL
Wed 10th Aug  7pm ARCOLA THEATRE
Arcola Theatre, E8 3DL
Thu 11th Aug  7pm ARCOLA THEATRE
Arcola Theatre, E8 3DL
Fri 12th Aug  7pm ARCOLA THEATRE
Arcola Theatre, E8 3DL
Sat 13th Aug  7pm ARCOLA THEATRE
Arcola Theatre, E8 3DL


Street Opera Dates

Date Time Location FREE
Thu 4th Aug  5 – 6pm COLLIERS WOOD
Starts at: Savacentre/The Qube, SW19 1BY
Fri 5th Aug  1 – 2pm MITCHAM
Starts at: Outside Morrisons, CR4 2JS
Fri 5th Aug  5 – 6pm ROEHAMPTON
Starts at: Roehampton Library, SW15 4HD
Thu 18th Aug  5 – 6pm WANDSWORTH TOWN
Starts at: Southside Shopping Centre, SW18 4TF
Fri 19th Aug  11 – 12pm POLLARDS HILL
Starts at: Outside New Horizon Centre, CR4 1LT
Fri 19th Aug  5 – 6pm CLAPHAM JUNCTION
Starts at: Battersea Library, SW11 1JB
Sat 20th Aug  1 – 2pm RAYNES PARK
Starts at: Outside Waitrose, SW20 0BS
Sat 20th Aug  5 – 6pm WIMBLEDON
Starts at: Outside Morrisons / Wimbledon Piazza, SW19 1QB
Sun 21st Aug  1 – 2pm PUTNEY
Starts at: Putney Exchange, SW15 1TW
Sun 21st Aug  5 – 6pm WIMBLEDON VILLAGE
Starts at: Outside Bayley & Sage, SW19 5EE

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