Bourne’s take on Tim Burton’s film about the sensitive boy with scissors for hands premiered in Plymouth in 2005, and has since undertaken a huge global tour. A firm favourite with London audiences, it now returns to Sadler’s Wells for another much anticipated run.
Dominic North reprises his role as Edward, for which he won a National Dance Award nomination in 2007. He’ll share the season with Liam Mower, the winner of an Olivier Award for his starring role in another hit stage show, Billy Elliott.
In Bourne’s tale, Edward is the strange creation of a bereaved father whose son died playing with scissors in a storm. Venturing from his miserable lair after his creator’s death, Edward is taken in by one of the pastel-coloured, white-toothed families in the town below, and he falls in love with their pretty daughter. But Edward’s efforts to fit in are cursed with the revulsion of his neighbours at his deformed hands and simultaneously too-hasty success as a wizard topiary and hair-dressing artist.
It’s easy to see why Bourne was attracted to Burton’s camp and colourful weirdness, and his close attention to the film version spawns some ingenious theatre, including a wonderfully provocative seduction scene as Edward falls into the hands of the neighbourhood vamp, and a witty topiary ballet.
The original show suffered criticism on first appearance for rather flat, inexpressive choreography, sparse on Bourne’s usually powerful vocabulary, but 2014 will see revamped movement to answer those claims. The set by Lez Brotherson, Bourne’s long-time design collaborator, will return in the exact form in which it courted widespread praise in the original production.The candy-coloured suburbia has eerie echoes of the grim world of circus-like horror inhabited by Edward, which is dissected with the lightning and mist of Howard Harrison’s lighting design. And Danny Elfman’s haunting film score has been spliced with Terry Davies’ lindyhop sections for the tightly-packed musical numbers.
This production was beloved of audiences rather than high-brow critics, and you shouldn’t go expecting anything more or less than a blockbuster. But taken as such, it’s an adventurous crowd-pleaser, one of the best current London shows, with a story that pulls at the heartstrings throughout.
|What||Matthew Bourne's Edward Scissorhands, Sadler's Wells|
|Where||Sadler's Wells, Rosebery Avenue, London, EC1R 4TN | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Angel (underground)|
02 Dec 14 – 11 Jan 15, 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM
|Website||Click here to book via the Sadler's Wells website|