Matthew Bourne’s Edward Scissorhands at Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff – review

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Edward Scissorhands Wales Millennium Centre review

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Thank you to Wales Millennium Centre for providing us with press tickets for Edward Scissorhands

Matthew Bourne’s Edward Scissorhands comes to Cardiff as part of its UK tour, 19 years after it premiered in 2005, and back on the stage 10 years after it was last performed.

It’s a beautiful, mesmerising and wistful production, remaining fairly faithful to Tim Burton’s iconic film as it explores what it means to be an outsider, with a rich blend of dance theatre that is typical of Bourne’s boundary-pushing New Adventures dance troupe.

Liam Mower is Edward, created by an eccentric inventor to replace his son who tragically dies in the production’s opening moments. When the inventor dies before his replacement child is complete, Edward is left with huge scissor blades for hands, living all alone in a castle on a hill. Until, that is, he’s taken in by the caring Peg Boggs and her family, and tries to integrate into the suburban community of Hope Springs, where he’s the subject of intrigue, amusement, lust, and suspicion. With his scissored hands, he sculpts the neighbours’ trees into impressive designs, not to mention their hair styles, and even a poodle. His feelings soon grow towards the daughter of the house, her boyfriend isn’t happy, ultimately ending in violence and sadness.

With his wild hair and awkward mannerisms, Mower has enough of Johnny Depp about him to satisfy fans of the film, his movement becoming more expressive as he grows in confidence. His duets with Ashley Shaw as his love interest Kim Boggs, are really moving. They dance amid a circle of topiary trees played by the ensemble, and under the shavings of an ice sculpture Edward creates in tribute to Kim, with a sense of sadness of a love that can never be. Mower makes complex movements which you’d imagine would be difficult with his scissor hands, look effortless.

If you thought the classic story from the film couldn’t be portrayed without words, you’d be wrong. There’s so much expression and feeling created by movement and facial expressions alone, all elevated by a score which incorporates Danny Effman’s original themes from the film with new music from Terry Davies, enhancing the onstage action, without ever overshadowing it.

Edward Scissorhands Wales Millennium Centre review
Edward Scissorhands Wales Millennium Centre review

The residents of Hope Springs are a colourful bunch, their movements full of humour as they go about their days. Worthy of mention is the amusing scene where the sultry Joyce (Nicole Kabera) tries to seduce a confused Edward.

The pastel box houses and blue skies of Lez Brotherston’s set contrast with the darkness of the opening scenes, while Howard Harrison’s lighting and Duncan McLean’s video and projection, create atmosphere, with beautiful night sky scenes, evocative colours, and words magically appearing and disappearing.

Edward Scissorhands Wales Millennium Centre Cardiff

With an age guidance of 8+, this is a great one for families with older children and we saw lots of teenagers and school trips in the audience. My 12 year old accompanied me to last night’s press performance (his first Matthew Bourne production – usually his sister has first dibs on reviewing them with me!). I’d told him it was nothing like the classic ballet you might expect and he was surprised just how much he enjoyed it and is now keen to watch the film as well as more from Matthew Bourne.

Edward Scissorhands Wales Millennium Centre review

Edward Scissorhands is at Wales Millennium Centre until Saturday 23 March, 7.30pm daily and 2.30pm on Thursday and Saturday. Tickets are still available, priced from £18. Age guidance 8+, no admission to under 2s.

Other shows coming up at Wales Millennium Centre to check out include: Bonnie and Clyde (26-30 March; aged guidance 12+), Come From Away (2-6 April; age guidance 10+), and An Officer and a Gentleman (15-20 April; age guidance 12+)

See the Wales Millennium Centre website for more information.

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