Theatre review: Edward Scissorhands, Sadler’s Wells, EC1

Edward Scissorhands. Picture: Johan Persson

Edward Scissorhands. Picture: Johan Persson - Credit: Archant

Tragic love story is a festive heartwarmer

Edward Scissorhands

Edward Scissorhands - Credit: Archant

A timeless love story, breathtaking choreography, Christmas trees, ice sculptures and fake snow in one theatre production can’t fail to get you in the mood for the Christmas festivities.

That’s exactly what you get from Matthew Bourne’s much loved interpretation of Edward Scissorhands, the story of the boy whose inventor died before he could complete him with human hands. Unlike the many saccharine productions at this time of year, this poignant dance masterpiece throws in comedy, tragedy and intrigue in equal measure.

Tim Burton’s dark 1990’s fantasy film starring Johnny Depp was originally brought to life on stage in 2005 and has been significantly reworked by Bourne’s company New Adventures for this revival.

Liam Mower gives an outstandingly touching portrayal as Edward – strikingly similar to Depp – in his search for love and acceptance after he is taken in by Peg Boggs (Madelaine Brennan) .

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Lez Brotherston’s design captures the magic of this modern fairytale with stunning effect – from its dark, atmospheric beginnings and climax around a decrepit Gothic mansion, to the bold and dazzling scenes depicting Edward’s time with his new family in a suburban American town.

The topiary scene is a standout, filled with incredible animal hedge creations, as the once fearful locals grow to love sweet-natured Edward and he begins to steal the heart of Peg’s cheerleader daughter Kim. Faithful to the film, the scene in which Edward carves an angel sculpture from a block of ice and covers Kim in snowflake shavings is both moving and enchanting. But as an intoxicated Edward floats around the dancefloor of the Christmas ball heartbreakingly unaware that his sharp blades can cause harm it’s the start of his demise. As snow drops on the audience, we’re left wondering what became of this bladed creature – with hearts warmed and the magic of Christmas firmly instilled.

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