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Edward Scissorhands - Norwich Theatre Royal (16.04.2024)

Updated: Apr 17

Devised, directed, and choreographed by Sir Matthew Bourne, the classic Tim Burton movie is gloriously brought to the stage in Norwich this week, and it's an event you simply should not miss if you have the chance.

Bourne’s staging stays largely faithful to the narrative and cartoon gothic feel of the film. That's in no small part thanks to Caroline Thompson who was responsible, alongside Tim Burton, for writing the screenplay, and she has lent her talents to this updated stage adaptation too.

Using a mix of Danny Elfman’s original score, and new musical arrangements by Terry Davies, under Bourne’s careful direction, who has blended elements of ballet, contemporary, ballroom, and swing style dance, Edward Scissorhands makes for a gorgeous, mesmerising, and surprisingly comedic show.

Liam Mower absolutely embodies the awkward physicality and naivety of Edward, but does so without making the performance clumsy. Ashley Shaw as the object of Edward's affection, Kim, exudes grace in her every movement and is a delight. An iconic scene from the film involves Edward carving an ice sculpture whilst Kim basks in the snowflakes falling around her, and their dance onstage as they recreate that moment is just as beautiful. Prepare also to well up as Edward and Kim play out a final emotional embrace in the cemetery.

From the outset, we are introduced to the wonderful ensemble, as they hilariously set the scene of the satirical pastiche of white picket-fence America. Their incredibly tight, committed choreography and characterisation never once let's up, and it was absolutely joyful to witness, particularly in the Boggs family bbq and the Christmas ball scenes.

As is the case with the movie, it's a visually striking show, and this stage production is complemented with some wonderful costumes (the dancing topiary was my favourite), incredible set-pieces, plus beautiful light and projection designs which add a real cinematic quality to proceedings.

If, like me, you're not a dance aficionado, it can be a touch daunting to head to a show such as this, especially given Matthew Bourne’s reputation in the world of ballet and modern dance. However, let me reassure you that in this stunning adaptation of a well-loved tale, Bourne has made the medium as clear and as accessible as possible. If you're thinking about it, I urge you to cast aside any doubts and give it a shot.

Edward Scissorhands continues at Norwich Theatre Royal until 20 April.


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