24 January 2009

Matthew Bourne's Edward Scissorhands is wonderful

I was not too sure what to expect of Matthew Bourne's Edward Scissorhands at Sadlers Wells as, somehow, I have never seen the film and the other Matthew Bourne productions that I had seen were quite different from each other and so gave no real clue as to what this one would be like. At the end of the performance I was stunned, delighted, charmed and moved.

The story itself is pretty simple; boy (Edward) dies, father makes artificial boy (Edward Scissorhands), father dies, artificial boy goes out in to the world where he makes friends and falls in love, artificial boy dies, his love carries on loving him into her old age. The story begins and ends at the Edward's grave.

Dramatically this falls in to three sections that go dark Gothic, jolly high school romp, dark Gothic. Think of a jam sandwich made with rye bread.

These changes in mood are reflected in the set design (graves are always good for Gothic) and in the dancing which is slow and passionate with few actors in the Gothic scenes but boisterous, feisty and funny with a stage full of actors for the jammy middle.

All sections of the show work well and the mood and the music flows well between them too to produce a single coherent drama that is truly dramatic.

The middle section with the full cast and a heavy dose of humour had some of the feel of The Carman and the Gothic sections had some of the intensity of Dorian Gray but in Edward Scissorhands Matthew Bourne has crafted something quite different from his other ballets but with the same assured creative stamp that makes all his productions sparkle and delight.

I do not do star rating but if I did this would be 5/5. I will gladly go to see it again and next time I'll take more people with me.

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