Dancer killed in motorbike accident

Jonathan Ollivier was due to perform lead role in final show

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A dancer was killed in a motorbike accident hours before he was due to perform a lead role in the final show of Matthew Bourne's The Car Man at Sadler's Wells Theatre.

Jonathan Ollivier, 38, was killed as he rode his motorbike through Clerkenwell in central London yesterday morning, Scotland Yard said.

The dancer, from Northampton, had been due to play the role of Luca in the evening performance of Bourne's show which was due to finish yesterday after a run of nearly four weeks at the famous venue.

His sister Rachel Ollivier wrote on Facebook last night: "To all my beautiful little bro friends, it is with a heavy heart that we have to tell you that Jon tragically died today. We love him and will miss him massively xx."

Collision with a saloon car

Ollivier was on his motorbike when he was involved in a collision with a black Mercedes saloon car in Farringdon Road.

Police, paramedics and an air ambulance tried to save his life, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver stopped and was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving. He remains in custody at a central London police station.

Ollivier's fellow cast were said to be "shaken" after they heard about the accident and Bourne's dance company New Adventures cancelled last night's show.

Production cancelled

Theatre-goers were turned away at the door and told by staff that the production had been cancelled "due to a tragic accident".

In an email to ticket-holders, the theatre said: "On behalf of the company New Adventures, we regret to inform patrons that tonight's performance of The Car Man at Sadler's Wells has had to be cancelled due to a tragic accident earlier today.

"While due process is being followed we are unable to give further information however we offer our sincere condolences to those concerned.

"New Adventures and Sadler's Wells are sorry for the inconvenience caused to patrons due to attend tonight's performance."

The Car Man is loosely based on Georges Bizet's opera Carmen and set in 1960s America.

Performance praised

Ollivier's performance had been praised by critics, with The Telegraph's Rachel Ward writing that he brought "brooding power and danger of a matador" to the role.

He had previously won plaudits for playing The Swan in Bourne's all-male Swan Lake.

Formal identification and a post-mortem examination will take place in due course, Scotland Yard said.

Detectives from the serious collision investigation unit are investigating and are keen to hear from anyone who witnessed or may have information regarding the collision.

Anyone with any information can contact the police on 020 8991 9555 or Criimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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