Edward Scissorhands @ Festival Theatre, Edinburgh

Matthew Bourne's adaptation of the Tim Burton cult classic is a must-see for film and dance fans alike

Review by Stephanie Stevenson | 23 May 2024
  • Edward Scissorhands

Nine years on from its latest revival, and nearly 20 since its debut, Matthew Bourne's latest tour production of Edward Scissorhands enchants audiences with its captivating blend of dance, drama, and whimsy, re-delivering a heartfelt rendition of Tim Burton's original beloved tale. Bourne masterfully translates the iconic story onto the stage with everything you loved about the film, plus so much more.

At the heart of the production lies Bourne's imaginative choreography, which breathes life into the poignant narrative. Every movement and facial expression is meticulously crafted, drawing the audience deeper into the world of Edward and the colourful characters of Suburbia. The seamless fusion of contemporary dance with theatrical storytelling, accompanied by Danny Elfman's memorable score, creates a mesmerizing spectacle that leads you to constantly jump from character to character to try and capture every move.

Photo from stage production of Edward Scissorhands. A man lies on the floor while Edward Scissorhands looms over him, waving his scissor hands.
Glenn Graham as the Inventor and Liam Mower as Edward in Matthew Bourne's Edward Scissorhands. Photo: Johan Persson

Leading the cast, the titular Edward is portrayed with sensitivity and depth by Liam Mower, capturing both his vulnerability and relatability as the Frankenstein-esque creation. Holly Saw compliments his naive side with her energetic yet elegant style. The ensemble cast shines in their respective roles, each bringing a unique energy to the stage that complements their fellow characters.  

The production's set and costumes, designed by Lez Brotherston, convey the contrasting worlds of Edward’s dark home and look against the squeaky clean yet secretly disturbing suburban utopia, reminiscent of Burton's original vision. Additional scenes, such as dream sequences from Edward's perspective, also add another interesting depth to the story. These provide some insight into his heart’s desires that we only see come to fruition for a few moments in the final few scenes, making them all the more heart-breaking. Personally, my one gripe was with the re-write of Edward’s origin which seemed unnecessary – but then again, this is a story about a man brought to life with scissors for hands so nothing is that bizarre.

Overall, Matthew Bourne's tour production of Edward Scissorhands is a colourful, captivating show that delivers a theatrical experience that is both visually stunning and emotionally resonant. A must-see for fans of the original film and lovers of dance alike.

Edward Scissorhands, Festival Theatre, Edinburgh, run ended. Now touring, including Theatre Royal, Glasgow, until 25 May