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  • David Robinson

Edward Scissorhands

Edward Scissorhands

Devised and directed by Matthew Bourne for

New Adventures

Birmingham Hippodrome until 10th January

Four Stars **** “Visually sparkles with plenty of sharp choreography”


Based on the film of the same name with music by Terry Davies this is co-adapted into the world of dance by Caroline Thompson from her original screenplay. Matthew Bourne is involved in its adaptation as well as keeping a keen eye on the direction and the sparkling and sharp choreography. The result is a lush warm production tinged with edginess and oozing with a feeling of small town American daytime TV rather than gothic drama. And yet this tale of the unexpected works, the juxtaposition of the Frankenstein creature turning up in suburbia somehow lands pleasingly well, despite knowing in the back if your mind the broad American smiles are not going to last.

The plot hangs on to the original screenplay faithfully. Edward is electrocuted as a boy during a storm whilst playing with scissors. His inventor father is riddled with grief and sets about recreating a replacement son, at first with scissors for hands. He is unable to put the fingers in place as a Halloween stunt by some young locals goes horribly wrong resulting in the Inventor suffering a fatal heart attack. Jim Upton superbly and menacingly portrayed by Ben Brown is the main perpetrator of the deadly prank.

Edward Scissorhands finds himself in the near perfect surroundings of Hope Springs and benefits from the pity and then care of housewife Peg Boggs (Sophia Hurdley) who takes Edward into the family home. From then onwards Edward becomes a bit of a local celebrity with some charming scenes unfolding at the local pool, the barber shop and then around the town’s Christmas festivities. Edward slowly becomes close to Peg’s daughter Kim, who happens to be the girlfriend of the broody Jim Upton. And so, some form of confrontation is inevitable, if feels a little slow in arriving but of course it surely does halfway through the second half.

Liam Mower is a tortured soul as Edward and with admirable ease tackles some typically intricate Bourne choreography whilst handling a fair amount of sharp steelwork on his hands. A brilliant performance. Ashley Shaw is a dazzling delight as Kim beautifully balancing compassion and care for Edward in their duets together.

The stage is a visual delight with an awful lot going on all the time and that feast for the eyes is made even more impressive thanks to the fusion of classical and Broadway dance. Busy but brilliant.


David Robinson

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