Opened 2 December 2014, Closed 11 January 2015 at Sadler's Wells Theatre in London
The return of Matthew Bourne's dance production Edward Scissorhands in London for a strictly limited six week Christmas season.
Adapted from the classic Tim Burton motion picture, Matthew Bourne's Edward Scissorhands promises to once again be a treat for all the family when it returns this Christmas to Sadler's Wells Theatre. This touching and witty gothic fairytale tells the story of a boy created by an eccentric inventor who dies leaving him alone and unfinished. Left with only scissors for hands, Edward must find his place in a strange new suburban world where the well meaning community struggle to see past his appearance to the innocence and gentleness within.
Choreographed by Matthew Bourne with music by Danny Elfman and Terry Davies, designs by Lez Brotherston, lighting by Howard Harrison and sound by Paul Groothuis. Some scenes may not be suitable for very young children. Matthew Bourne's Edward Scissorhands was previously seen in London at Sadler's Wells Theatre from November 2005 to February 2006 and from December 2008 to January 2009. PLEASE NOTE: Recommended for ages six plus. Children under 5 will not be admitted. This is a dance production, not a musical. Strobe effects are used during the show.
Matthew Bourne's London stage choreography credits include Tchaikovsky's classic ballets Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Bizet's Carmen renamed as The Car Man, Prokofiev's Cinderella set in London during the Second World War, Oscar Wilde's Dorian Gray.
When this production originally opened Sarah Crompton in the Daily Telegraph said it was "a fantastic family show" and Debra Craine in the Times described how Matthew Bourne had "fashioned a tender, dark and funny dance play about the ultimate outcast... this new creation is amusing and attractive, an entertaining story well told," adding that "Lez Brotherston's designs are a triumph." Over in the Guardian Judith Mackrell highlighted that "from the beginning, the Bourne-Burton chemistry is fizzing. Visually, the early scenes may directly recall the movie but Bourne uses them to add a new and tender history to the plot and vividly establish his own aesthetic... Bourne and designer Lez Brotherston have used all their tricks to make the story dazzle... there is no denying that Bourne's Edward is a cracking piece of theatre. Superbly cast, steeped in stage tradition, it not only entertains but will surely send a new generation back to Burton's original movie." When the production returned a few years later Sanjoy Roy in the Guardian thought that "you don't need to know Tim Burton's film Edward Scissorhands to follow Matthew Bourne's stage production: Bourne is a natural storyteller, who never leaves his audience behind." Gerald Dowler in the Financial Times commented that "Lez Brotherston's sets and costumes are truly first-rate - keenly imagined and expertly executed, they are wonderfully lit to boot" and in the Times Donald Hutera wrote that "Matthew Bourne's adaptation of Tim Burton's 1990 film is one of the biggest and brightest of this season's glut of cultural ornaments." ZoŽ Anderson in the Independent commented that it "feels like Bourne-by-numbers, familiar characters or devices that have suffered a fatal loss of energy." Ruth Leon in the Daily Express said that "what [Matthew Bourne] has left out of his leading character is the sense of fun that should leaven the serious moments. There is, in fact, very little comedy and almost no real dancing on offer and the choreography does not measure up to Bourne's aspirations... In the better, second act, there is a party scene with some of the exuberance... And the final duet is both charming and touching."
"Matthew Bourne's Midas touch has ensured record-breaking bookings for Edward Scissorhands and renders critical input largely irrelevant... The show is based on Tim Burton's 1990 film, a stickily sentimental gothic fable about an unfinished man-made monster with scissors for hands (Johnny Depp) who is tolerated then rejected by a lawn-mowing, backbiting suburban community. First-rate music and expressive choreography might have fleshed out this actually rather thin tale but Scissorhands boasts neither; Terry Davies is hamstrung by having to work with Danny Elfman's film soundtrack - part music-box, part ultra-lounge. It looks enchanting. Lez Brotherston's witty set condenses the pastel-painted suburbia of Bo Welch's original film design into a dinky landscape of Wendy houses... The ending, which has Edward return from whence he came, is downbeat without being particularly redemptive, and so Bourne, ever the master showman, shamelessly lifts the audience's spirits with one of his ovation-milking curtain calls." The Sunday Telegraph
"It has a brilliant concept, breathtaking production values, an ideal score and a dazzling cast but Matthew Bourne's Edward Scissorhands is five-star dance theatre with a fatal flaw - poor steps. Lez Brotherston has recreated the pastel-hued suburbia of Tim Burton's 1990 cult film as a kind of Fifties' soap advert... all superbly lit by Howard Harrison's candy colours... Terry Davies's arrangement of Danny Elfman's original film score is Hollywood lush, tonguein-cheek and infinitely danceable, which is where the trouble starts. Bourne's old flair is there in the weirdest seduction ever seen in the West End, between reluctant Scissorhands and rapacious redhead, Joyce, involving a bean bag, Joyce's husband, his Flymo and a washing machine. Bourne's dance-making is otherwise subdued and, lacking his expected edge, production numbers flow like treacle." The Express on Sunday
"The good news is that it looks gorgeous. The downside is that it drags. It cries out for songs. For all the energy, there isn't sufficient dance interest to make it a ballet or sustain it as a 'dancical'. One drawback is the music. Terry Davies, who wrote the excellent jazz score for Bourne's ingenious Play Without Words, provides lively big-band effects, but the main musical themes are based on Danny Elfman's score for the film, where they were suited by being occasional. When they are ever-present, in this stage version, they feel saccharine-sentimental, repetitious... Lez Brotherston, Bourne's regular designer, certainly comes up trumps with his witty decors, inspired by the film originals but brilliantly translated to the stage." The Sunday Times
"The dance version of the famous 1990 film lacks only one treat many female dance fans would like in their Christmas stocking - it doesn't have Johnny Depp. What it does have is stunning choreography from director Matthew Bourne, whose idea it was to turn Tim Burton's emotion-charged movie into a sizzling ballet. In Bourne's version - the music is based on the themes from the original score - Edward's dad invents a lookalike robot after son Edward is killed by a lightning bolt. Why the substitute Ed has a bunch of ironmongery instead of fingers on the ends of his arms remains unexplained. But who am I to knock an entrancing story? The human razor soon becomes accepted by the local small-town American community. His flair in shaping privet hedges and cutting hair helps -but he is eventually rejected simply because he's different. There's a lesson here... Sam Archer brilliantly danced Edward in sequences that owe more to modern musical theatre than the ballet. Lez Brotherston's sets and designs - breathtaking riots of colour - are alone worth the price of admission." The Sun
Edward Scissorhands in London at the Sadler's Wells Theatre opens 2 December 2014 and closes on 11 January 2015