Nottingham Theatre Royal
New Adventures production of Edward Scissorhands is the one production that I had been looking forward to seeing since I first had my tickets confirmed a long while back now it seems. I was fascinated to see how Matthew Bourne and New productions would stage it, and, being Matthew Bourne, he did it with great style.
It would be very easy to make comparisons with Johnny Depp's film characterization of Edward with this one, but even though the character and story are the same, you soon forget a certain Mr Depp because Liam Mower, who played Edward here, is instantly hypnotizing. Every time he appears on stage you are drawn to him like a magnet to those sharp, metal hands of his.There is great stage presence here and the dancing is en point, but then again Liam has an impressive history of dance and ballet based theatre work in his wake, most notably playing Billy in the original cast of "Billy Elliot"
Edward Scissorhands is a love story at heart and his longing to be accepted and loved for who he is is portrayed beautifully, drawing comparisons with Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein". After all, both gothic characters were created from bits of other people's body parts, sewn together to make a monster, but with that inner desire to be loved and being very misunderstood.
It's a large cast and there is always something going on in all four quarters of the stage. The cast are among some of the best dancers in the world because that is what Mr Bourne brings out of them with his imaginative choreography, Creating laughter and sadness through his work and the dancers channelling of his ideas.
The ensemble work is electrifying and at the other end of the scale the solo and duet dances are tender and at times emotional, great shades of black and white.Characterization wise all the main characters are different and entertaining in various ways. Take the hussy vamp who, as soon as her husband is out of the way, drags in the nearest hunk,and reels in Edward as well. there is her "theatrically camp" son, all "eyes n teeth" and always performing, the over protective boyfriend of the girl who Edward falls for in a big way, and then the over excitable young son of the family who took Edward into their homes. So many varied characters all having a story to tell.
The sets are just as magical as you would expect with this fairy tale, swiftly placed and amazingly deceptive. The costumes were just as amazing as well, both sets and costumes being designed by the incredibly talented Lez Brotherstone.
I promise that you will be so enthralled in this production that, like myself, the interval will come far too early for you and will leave you wanting more, anticipating the second act.
Matthew Bourne is hailed as the UK's most popular and successful choreographer/director and I will not dispute this, having been converted to his wizadry early last year with his production of "Swan Lake", Edward Scissorhands is a magical piece of dance theatre which everyone from 5 to 105 years old will find enrapturing.
A well deserved total standing ovation made sure that the dancers were well aware of the appreciation Nottingham's Theatre Royal held for them.
"Edward Scissorhands" is on in Nottingham until Saturday 24 January 2015, but I would suggest not waiting too long to grab the last of the tickets so as to avoid disappointment.