Choreographer Matthew Bourne is renowned for his cutting-edge productions and sharp wit so his adaptation of Edward Scissorhands is sure to pierce hearts when it visits Milton Keynes Theatre from Tuesday.
Edward Scissorhands, the touching tale of the boy with a full set of paper-cutters on the end of each arm, was first premiered by Bourne’s company, New Adventures, in 2005. Since then, the production has carved a place in the hearts of thousands across the world, enjoying sell-out performances in Europe, America, Asia and Australia.
This spectacular modern fairy tale has now returned to the UK in its first major revival and, after seasonal success at Sadler’s Wells over Christmas, the show is stopping off in the new city to give theatregoers here a slice of the cleverly-choreographed action. Blending contemporary dance with drama, Bourne’s work has widespread appeal and Lez Brotherston’s stunning sets always add to the theatrical magic.
Based on the classic Tim Burton film, the narrative of Edward Scissorhands tells the bittersweet story of a boy created by a solitary scientist who dies, leaving him alone and unfinished. Left with only scissors for hands, the vulnerable Edward must navigate his way in the strange suburban world of Hope Springs, where people struggle to see past his appearance and accept him as the gentle soul he truly is.
The title character will be played by admired New Adventures star Dominic North who will be returning to the role that won him a National Dance Award nomination as Best Male Dancer in 2009. Also donning shears as hands will be Liam Mower (of Billy Elliot fame) who is making his debut as Edward this season, in his fifth production with New Adventures.
Playing Edward’s sweetheart, Kim Boggs, will be Ashley Shaw and Katy Lowenhoff. Kim’s mother, Peg Boggs, will be played by New Adventures favourite and Associate Artistic Director Etta Murfitt who is reprising her original 2005 role.
New Adventures dancer Tim Hodges began his dance training in Milton Keynes, before winning a place at Tring Park School for the Performing Arts. He has previously danced in Matthew Bourne’s Edward Scissorhands and toured with New Adventures’ incredibly popular Swan Lake last year. Tim, who now lives in Wixams, will play Kim’s ‘All-American’ Jock boyfriend Jim Upton in some performances. In others, he will play Bill Boggs, Kim’s father.
Tim said: “Matthew’s work is so well-received everywhere we go – especially stuff he has done before. He really makes accessible dance that has such a strong narrative and a lot of humour which everyone can understand. He puts elements in that anyone will find funny.
He added: “Our Edward Scissorhands has really got a bit of everything. Humour, romance, drama. The romance between Edward and Kim starts off awkwardly but it is beautiful and the big overriding story is of acceptance and how we should not be too quick to judge.”
*Production photography by Johan Persson.
Matthew Bourne’s Edward Scissorhands is at Milton Keynes Theatre from Tuesday 17 to Saturday 21 February 2015.
This preview is also featured in the Milton Keynes Citizen GO! leisure and entertainment supplement.
Update 18 February 2015: Read my review of Matthew Bourne’s Edward Scissorhands at Milton Keynes Theatre.
Georgina Butler is an editor, a dance writer and a ballet teacher.