It’s no secret that Matthew Bourne is a genius. From his all-male Swan Lake to his haunting adaptation of Sleeping Beauty, Bourne is known for his modern takes on classic fairytales, and tonight’s enchanting show was no different as he revived his first sell-out show to captivate a packed Theatre Royal yet again.
Originally created in 2005, Bourne has taken Tim Burton’s film Edward Scissorhands and used drama and dancing to bring it to life in a way no film ever could. Despite never uttering a single word, the dancers tell the story of a special boy desperate to find his place in the world as he navigates the challenges posed by having scissors for hands. Danced by Liam Mower and Dominic North, they perfectly capture the wide-eyed face and clunky gait established in Burton’s film.
What makes this performance so special is its rich tapestry where no detail has been forgotten. The ever-changing scenery draws us into its fantasy world, the 1950’s costumes are accurate but gorgeous and the music incorporates beloved melodies from the film as well as assisting in the storytelling.
At any one moment there is so much happening on stage that it’s difficult to know where to look – but this adds to the magic of the show as you could see it a hundred times and still discover something new. Each family of dancers has their own hyper-stereotypical personality, which provides a gentle satire and is a constant source of hilarity.
And the dancing – although billed as a ballet, the show includes a wide range of dances, but the ballet is always the most spectacular. Each lift was clean-cut, group dances were perfectly coordinated, and characters were preserved through the dances. If anything, I would have loved to have seen even more ballet routines.
This utterly beautiful show earned my first ever standing ovation which was joined by the rest of the theatre thundering applause as snow fell around us. I could happily watch it every day.