As the first real frost of winter sets in, it feels like even the weather has aligned to create the perfect setting for the enchanting return of Edward Scissorhands.
In this dance version, Matthew Bourne’s New Adventure’s company takes the 1990 Tim Burton film and distils the true-heart of its story on stage, complete with quirky characters, comedy, romance, and magic.
In many ways the stage adaptation feels cinematic, in its widescreen filling of the Lyric’s huge stage with energy and action. At times there is so much going on, it’s hard to know where to look. Les Brotherton’s enormous and detailed sets draw us into the candy-coloured world of Hope Springs. We move from gothic castle to suburban town, teenage bedroom to poolside country club in moves so slick they feel as natural as a scene change on screen. Terry Davies original composition adapted from Danny Elfman’s romantic film score also feels very much like a soundtrack that guides our emotions on this rollercoaster of a journey.
There is no shortage of theatrical special effects too, which only adds to the awe and wonder of how a dancer, here Liam Mower, can move so deftly with a series of foot-long blades on the ends of his fingers.
Edward Scissorhand’s creation is a Pinocchio-type tale. After losing his son, an old man starts to build Edward; but before he can finish his creation, youths in Halloween masks ransack the ghostly house leaving the old man dead and young Edward left with scissors for hands.
Sounds dark and like all good fairy tales, in places it is. But it is the contrast between appearance and reality, uniqueness and uniformity, the bullishness of the teenage gangs and Edward’s vulnerable innocence that make for such an emotional journey that needs no words to explain.
Mower is dazzling as Scissorhands, bringing a tender depth and wit to the part that brings full dimension to his character, and he is excellently supported in the precision of movement and character of each one of the cast.
It’s been 9 years since the show’s last major revival in 2014 and long-standing New Adventures’ fans will recognise a previous Scissorhands, Dominic North in the role of Bill Boggs; while Kerry Biggin, who created the role of Kim Boggs in the original 2005 version, now dances mum Peg Boggs.
It’s easy to see why both company and cast have returned to it. Edward Scissorhands is a timeless story of how society often treats those it perceives as different, and this beautiful staging is a delight from start to finish.