Reflections on New Adventures’ Jonathan Ollivier

Last week I was talking about Matthew Bourne’s The Car Man and being able to watch these amazing New Adventures dancer’s dance on screen.

Now the world of theatre is paying their respects to a New Adventures dancer who sadly died in an accident.

On the 9th August, dancer Jonathan Ollivier died in a motorbike crash.

The 38 year old New Adventures dancer that Bourne described as one of the most charismatic and powerful dancers of his generation died before he was about to perform Matthew Bourne’s production of The Car Man at Sadler’s Wells Theatre, London.

Ollivier was involved in a collision with a black Mercedes shortly after 11:00 BST on Sunday. Paramedics and an air ambulance pronounced him dead at the scene before noon.

A driver was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving but has now been bailed until February 2016.

Sadly the performance of The Car Man was cancelled on that Sunday.

Fans of Ollivier took to social media and left lovely messages about the tragic news.


Professional Dancer Karen Clifron tweeted her message of condolence, along with dance critic Graham Watts.


Matthew Bourne wrote a tribute to Ollivier on the New Adventures site, saying:

“A man of great warmth and charm, Jonny was a true gent, loved and respected by his colleagues and adored by audiences who were mesmerised by his memorable performances on stage as well as his friendly and genuine personality at the Stage Door.”

On Twitter, New Adventures relived some of the greatest points in his career.


Jonathan trained at the Rambert School of Dance, dancing for the likes of Cape Town Ballet and Northern Ballet Theatre.

He was a principal dancer for Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures where he was able to play Swan/Stranger in Swan Lake, Luca in The Car Man and Speight in Play Without Words.

He also acclaimed many awards such as the fellowship to the Dance Critics Circle and nominated by them as Best Young Dancer (2003) and Best Male Dancer (2004).

I was lucky enough to see Jonathan Ollivier in The Car Man at the Theatre Royal, Newcastle. He was such a strong dancer, using his skills and techniques to portray a character and tell a story.

On behalf of the Kettle Magazine team, we send our condolences to his friends and family and everyone at New Adventures.

If you wish to leave a message with New Adventures here are the details.

Have your say on the life and career of Jonathan Ollivier in the comments section below.