The Lowry, Salford Quays
Until Saturday 2 December 2023
⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
Returning to UK theatres for the first time in nine years, Matthew Bourne’s celebrated adaptation of Tim Burton’s beloved gothic fantasy romance film of the same name remains as enchanting as it was when it first premiered back in 2005, making it a perfect treat for audiences across the festive season and beyond.
Set to the hauntingly beautiful original film score by Danny Elfman, along with new music and arrangements by Terry Davies, and with superb designs by Lez Brotherston, Bourne’s production is another magical fusion of contemporary dance, movement and physical theatre, wonderfully bringing to life Burton and writer Caroline Thompson‘s bittersweet tale. in a fresh and exciting new medium.
The production has previously received criticism for the lack of pure dance content featured, though that is rarely what New Adventures’ productions have been solely about. Bourne’s productions have always showcased contemporary dance. The shows are hybrids bringing together all aspects of dance and movement.
The aim has always been to tell a story through fluid movement and precise choreography, and to put a tender and playful new spin on the familiar. That is where Edward Scissorhands really thrives. There’s warmth, humour and pathos in spades, all perfectly balanced. The narrative is clear and focused. The story is driven beautifully through the dance, and when we do get a big dance sequence it feels special, like everything has been building up to this showcase moment.
Remaining largely faithful to the film, though with a lighter ending, many of the key scenes are joyously recreated by the superb New Adventures Company: the neighborhood barbecue, the hedge trimming, Edward’s salon, and, of course, the utterly beautiful Ice Dance. Perhaps the most significant change is moving the action from the 1980s and back to 1950’s suburbia, which gives the piece a much more vintage and wholesome feel.
Edward Scissorhands is at its strongest during the more moving and heartfelt sequences, notably the Christmas and wintry scenes, with smooth, lyrical routines accompanied by Elfman’s stunning music. Elsewhere, The Suburban Ballet scene is particularly entertaining, as we are introduced to the colourful and eccentric characters that live in the neighbourhood, though a number of the more fantastical suburban scenes, though undeniably good fun, are drawn out a little too long.
Once the original star of Billy Elliot the Musical, and now a season New Adventures veteran with more than ten productions to his name, Liam Mower takes on the iconic title role in what proves a nuanced and superbly executed performance. Mower perfectly captures the mannerisms and characteristics displayed by Johnny Depp in the original film and moves with such fluidity and grace, effortlessly conveying the emotions of Edward’s journey through the story.
It is wonderful to see Edward Scissorhands back on UK stages after a lengthy absence and it remains yet another superb creation by Matthew Bourne and the New Adventures Company.
Running Time: 1 hour and 55 minutes (approx.), including one 20-minute interval.
Final Performance at The Lowry, Salford Quays: Saturday 2 December 2023
For more information, and to book tickets, please CLICK HERE.