Theatre Review - Edward Scissorhands

Stephen Murray in Edward Scissorhands [Johan Persson]
Stephen Murray in Edward Scissorhands [Johan Persson]

MATTHEW Bourne’s version of Tim Burton’s classic 1990 film (original screenplay by Caroline Thompson) is certainly spectacular. Set in suburban 1950s America, this bittersweet tale is lovingly transformed into ballet by Bourne and his company, New Adventures, featuring the music of Danny Elfman and Terry Davies.

This revival is timely given the politically-fuelled distrust about difference and outsiders.

After Edward is fatally struck by lightning, his bereft inventor-father fashions a humanoid version. However, he dies before he can give Edward (Stephen Murray) hands instead of scissor blades and the boy is left alone in their remote mansion.

When kindly Peg Boggs (Etta Murfitt) from the local town catches Edward foraging for food in a bin, she takes him in. Edward falls for her daughter Kim (Katrina Lyndon), a popular cheer leader, but she is already dating Jim Upton (Ben Brown), a hot-headed bully.

Edward soon ingratiates himself with the townspeople and becomes something of a celebrity for his imaginative topiary and human haircuts. But Jim is jealous of his blossoming friendship with Kim. When Jim gets Edwards drunk at the high school Christmas dance, things quickly spiral out of control.

There are some jaunty subplots involving the neighbours. Particularly memorable is Nicole Kabera’s turn as vamp Joyce Monroe.

The impressive ensemble pieces work best although occasionally Bourne’s choreography feels repetitive. Murray captures Edward’s bewilderment but his final pas de deux with Lyndon seemed rather underpowered on the matinĂ©e I attended.

Still, it’s hard to fault Lez Brotherston’s dazzling set and costumes, Duncan Mclean’s stunning projection design, augmented by Howard Harrison’s evocative lighting.

A festive treat.


Originally published by Islington Tribune