Review Two: Matthew Bourne’s Edward Scissorhands at Newcastle Theatre Royal

Review Two: Matthew Bourne’s Edward Scissorhands at Newcastle Theatre Royal

Edward Scissorhands

Theatre Royal, Newcastle (Addendum)

2nd April 2024 

Now, I do not do this very often but I am going to review the show again. As you know, I was in the audience for press night and you can see that review here. Tonight, I decided that I wanted to see it again it was that good – but without the thoughts of having to review it and to let the experience wash over me. I also must admit to watching the film again in the mean time too. 

I do not need to talk about Liam Mower because he was just as adorable the second time round. I also do not need to mention the inventor or the mayor because they were the same as last week. The cast has alternated for this week of the tour but, as expected, they were all as magnificent as their counterparts last Tuesday. Of course, Liam is the star of the show and rightly got the standing ovation at the end of the performance this evening. When you see all the interactions on the stage, you can fully appreciate the camaraderie and team work that is involved and it comes across very much in the performance. 

One thing I totally failed to talk about in my review last week was the music although I did mention on of my musical heroes, the wonderful Danny Elfman who was responsible for the score for the movie and is featured respectfully and prominently in this production – as it only right and proper. The person responsible for being respectful with the great man’s work and providing additional music in his style is Terry Davies and he does a magnificent job. There are some delightful and playful additions to Elfman’s wonderful score which really brings out the joy and the drama of the entire production.

There are another couple of stand out elements of this production that I failed to address. They may be seen as spoilers but I will endeavour to be vague in my descriptions so as to explain myself without ruining the production for anyone who is yet to see it. 

First, there is the choreography of the teenagers in the narrative. This is done very much with a firm tongue in the cheek. It raises a smile every time an individual or a group does it and it is even more funny when the Edward character replicates it. The film features a barbecue which is foist upon the Avon lady matriarch in the story, ostensibly to introduce Edward to the community. This is very much a blockbuster dance number in the first half and the clever elements which differentiate the age groups of those attending is something not short of genius. 

The second act has its own showstopping moment which covers the Christmas dance in Hope Springs, in which the body of the action is set. This also is quite incredible because the story is carried throughout and really draws the audience into the changing attitudes of the townsfolk towards the interloper with the blades for hands. 

As an addendum to my original review, this has turned into a piece as long as many of my reviews tend to be but it is totally worth it. Matthew Bourne’s Edward Scissorhands is, for anyone who likes the movie, an essential watch. For those who have not seen the movie, but who like theatre told through the medium of ballet, story telling through movement or contemporary dance then this is the show for you. For students of performance, then this could easily form at least one case study for a dissertation or a thesis on how to do it.

Edward Scissorhands plays at Newcastle Theatre Royal until 6thApril 2024. If I had the time to see it again, I would have no hesitation to do so. It is that good.  

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