REVIEW: Matthew Bourne’s ‘Edward Scissorhands’ – Milton Keynes Theatre, January 2024

 

Matthew Bourne’s Edward Scissorhands uses clear-cut narrative dance to tenderly show the value of an outstretched hand.

The whimsical dance–theatre production of Tim Burton’s classic film is delighting audiences at Milton Keynes Theatre this week. Cutting straight to the point, if you are yet to experience a Bourne ballet this ode to acceptance is an especially accessible offering to start with. Chop chop though, performances by Sir Matthew’s New Adventures company inevitably sell out.

Edward Scissorhands is a story that dances between ordinary human happenings and a fantasy existence. Young Edward dies after being struck by lightning while holding a pair of scissors. His distraught father, who is an inventor, devotes himself to bringing Edward back to life. Devastatingly, the dedicated dad suffers a fatal heart attack before he can complete his handiwork and leaves behind a lonely boy who has dangerous blades instead of dexterous fingers.

Kindly townswoman Peg Boggs discovers Edward and invites him to stay with her family in the suburban haven of Hope Springs. However, the well-meaning community struggles to see past Edward’s curious appearance. Will Edward, the ultimate outsider, find his place and gain the residents’ acceptance?

 

Matthew Bourne's Edward Scissorhands. Kim Boggs (Katrina Lyndon) and Edward (Liam Mower) dance together.

 

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REVIEW: ‘Fantastically Great Women Who Changed The World’ – Milton Keynes Theatre, January 2024

 

Can I have your attention please? Uplifting musical Fantastically Great Women Who Changed The World leaves theatregoers of all ages walking taller and humming toe-tapping tunes.

The production, which is based on a non-fiction picture book by suffragette descendant Kate Pankhurst, is bringing inspiring women to the stage at Milton Keynes Theatre this week. Dramatist Chris Bush and songwriters Miranda Cooper and Jennifer Decilveo have creatively honoured the legacy of some of the world’s most iconic women by giving them bold and insightful words to say and a great pop soundtrack to sing.

Eleven-year-old protagonist Jade is visiting the local museum on a school trip with her classmates. Jade tends to be one of the “quiet children” teachers sing the praises of (those children that “never get detention”). Unfortunately, what this often means is that Jade frequently ends up being invisible and insignificant (as such children “don’t require attention”). Her teachers easily forget about her, while her parents’ impending divorce has left her feeling voiceless and powerless.

When she is inadvertently deserted by her harried teachers, Jade stumbles across the Gallery of Greatness, which is not yet open to the public. This wing of the museum pays homage to some of the most amazing women from history. As something of a lost soul, Jade doubts that she will ever make her mark on the world like those fantastic women did.

Fortunately, this entire show is a vibrant lesson in herstory (history from a female perspective) and self-belief. As soon as Jade slips into the out-of-bounds space it bursts into energetic life to empower her to be part of the movement and recognise her own greatness. Through a series of upbeat musical encounters, she gets to know an all-singing, all-dancing sisterhood of wise – and wisecracking – wonder women. And learns that “there is no such thing as an ordinary woman”.

 

Fantastically Great Women Who Changed The World, the musical. Inquisitive schoolgirl Jade ventures into the out-of-bounds Gallery of Greatness during a school trip to the local museum.

 

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NEWS: Look sharp for Matthew Bourne’s ‘Edward Scissorhands’ – Milton Keynes Theatre, January 2024

 

A cutting-edge fairy tale will be brought to life through captivating dance when Matthew Bourne’s Edward Scissorhands returns to Milton Keynes Theatre this month.

Fans of dance, theatre and film simply must experience this slice of cleverly choreographed entertainment that tells the touching tale of Edward, a lonely boy with a full set of paper-cutters at the end of each arm. When he is invited to stay with a kind family in the town of Hope Springs, Edward is the ultimate outsider in a strange suburban world. Will the community be able to see past his appearance and accept him as the gentle soul he truly is?

Sir Matthew Bourne’s distinctive dance–theatre style blends assorted dance genres (he works with dancers who have a mixture of contemporary, musical theatre and ballet training) and is ultimately inspired by a desire to tell relevant stories. This gives his productions a widespread appeal. Indeed, the narrative themes of individuality, young love, bullying and being an outsider that are sewn throughout Edward Scissorhands are universal.

The whimsical production, which is based on Tim Burton’s 1990 film, has carved a place in the hearts of audience members worldwide since its premiere in 2005. Theatregoers in Milton Keynes fell in love with the show when Bourne’s New Adventures company presented it here in 2015. The popular choreographer ensured a talented troupe of dancers delighted us with his trademark razor-sharp wit, clear-cut characterisation and magical storytelling.

This revival will arrive fresh from charming audiences at Sadler’s Wells over the Christmas season. It is sure to be a shear spectacle on tour too.

 

The cast of Matthew Bourne's Edward Scissorhands. Edward (Liam Mower) with residents of Hope Springs.

 

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NEWS: Be inspired by ‘Fantastically Great Women Who Changed The World’ – Milton Keynes Theatre, January 2024

 

Family musical Fantastically Great Women Who Changed The World will bring some kick-ass-pirational popstar punch to Milton Keynes Theatre this month.

When inquisitive Jade is separated from her class during a school trip to the local museum she ventures into the out-of-bounds Gallery of Greatness. Here she is surprised to meet some of history’s most incredible and independent mothers, sisters and daughters.

This line-up of wonder women – who each followed their hearts, talents and dreams to change the world – includes Frida Kahlo, Rosa Parks, Amelia Earhart, Marie Curie and Emmeline Pankhurst. It’s time for them to burst into song and share their empowering stories!

 

Fantastically Great Women Who Changed The World, the musical. Four women wearing purple, military style outfits stand supportively behind a younger woman who is wearing a school uniform.

 

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REVIEW: ‘Cinderella’ – Milton Keynes Theatre, Christmas 2023

 

You can always rely on a pantomime to magic up a happily ever after and Cinderella at Milton Keynes Theatre does so with fabulous fairy flair.

This year’s seasonal spectacular is an energetic, enchanting and entertaining romp through Cinders’ rags-to-riches tale. Thanks to the tried-and-tested panto format and the fun-filled, fairy-powered script, audience and cast members alike are guaranteed to have a ball at every performance throughout the show’s Christmas 2023 run.

Fairy 312, a failing fairy in training, will only earn her wings and graduate to fairy godmother status if she can ensure Cinderella is swept off her feet by Prince Charming. Cue a wave of a wand and a sprinkling of wonder and wit! Along the way, theatregoers of all ages get to delight in side-splitting silliness, upbeat songs, lively dancing, colourful costumes and spellbinding special effects.

 

Sarah Vaughan and James Darch as Cinderella and Prince Charming in Cinderella at Milton Keynes Theatre, Christmas 2023.

 

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