Edward Scissorhands Theatre Royal

Review: Edward Scissorhands at Theatre Royal

The long-awaited and very much anticipated performance of Edward Scissorhands is finally here at Theatre Royal with Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures Company…

Caroline Dask

Journalist at Luxe


It’s 7:15 pm and I’m making my way towards Theatre Royal. There’s a sense of urgency in my step as the day has come when I finally get to see the live performance of Edward Scissorhands.

Being a massive fan of the original Tim Burton film from the 1990s, and the director in general, I am eager to see it live on stage. As I get closer to the theatre, I can see I’m not the only one who’s filled with excitement.

Even before stepping foot into Theatre Royal, I know there will be masses of people of various ages, backgrounds and lives that have all come together to watch this magical story of an incomplete boy left alone in a strange world.

In a castle high on a hill lives a boy named Edward, created by an unconventional inventor. When he passes away, Edward is left alone and unfinished with only scissors for his hands. Not long after, he stumbles upon a suburban town where a kind woman invites him into her family.

Feeling like the odd one out, Edward is trying to find his place in this new, overly-fluffy world.

Edward Scissorhands Theatre Royal

First Impressions

Minutes before the performance starts, the atmosphere at Theatre Royal is electrifying. Everyone seems to be in good spirits and my friend and I are no exception. Swiping the pages of the programme, we’re discussing Tim Burton, Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures Company and the cinematography of the original film.

Soon enough the lights flash and an elderly woman, who at the end of the performance turns out to be Kim Boggs from the future, graces the stage, behind her a screen with words: ‘There once was a boy named Edward…’, and so the story begins…

Edward Scissorhands at Theatre Royal: The Stage

Something that always captures my eye is the scenography. From the very first moments of the performance, it’s evident that every detail is meticulously thought through. The stage props, including the dark and quirky ‘laboratory’ of Edward’s creator, provide a beautiful contrast to the later-seen suburban town.

The cinematography seen in the original Tim Burton film and the colourfulness of it is very much there and present. If the grass is green, it’s the most vibrant green I have ever seen. If the bedroom of Kim Boggs is pink, it’s the most beautiful, captivating colour variation of pink. This colour contrast, between the bold and dark colour themes, meshes beautifully together, telling a story of ‘them’, being the suburban town members and ‘us’, the black sheep.

Edward Scissorhands Theatre Royal

The Costumes

Another element of the show that is extremely captivating and does not fail to catch my eye is the costumes. From the ravishing wardrobe of coquettish Joyce Monroe to the masterfully crafted costume of Edward – it really seems as though you are watching the original film, only live, in action, with one additional, and equally important element – dance. But more on this later.

Lez Brotherson is the creative genius behind these breathtaking costumes and certainly deserves special mention. Every costume, whether it’s the feminine Kim Boggs, the authoritative Mrs Mayor, or the hip and cool Jim Upton, tells a unique story of each character, only building on the already strong storyline of Edward Scissorhands.

The Dancers

Out of 34 dancers in Edward Scissorhands each and every one of them are brilliant in their own roles. Liam Mover, playing Edward Scissorhands brings out the original side of the character, each dance move and body language hinting at Edwards’s kindness, gentleness and innocence.

His heartbreak is extremely powerful in a scene where he watches Kim Boggs leave with Jim Upton and in another when Edward imagines what life would be like if he were a ‘normal’ boy without unintentionally threatening sharp blades for hands.

Edward Scissorhands Theatre Royal

Ashley Shaw, playing Kim Boggs, is the perfect love interest. Through her delicate and incredibly beautiful language of ballet, she effortlessly expresses the loving, caring and vulnerable side of the character.

The power of Edward Scissorhands really shines brightest when together. Every moment, when all 34 of the performers come together to deliver an incredibly synchronised picture, is simply outstanding. With so much talent on stage, it becomes quite hard to decide which direction of the stage to look at, however, no matter where the eye wanders – the picture is still divine.

Edward Scissorhands at Theatre Royal: The Message

One thing that strikes me about ballet is its ability to convey a message to the audience effortlessly, without the need for words, and Edward Scissorhands is a perfect example of this. It’s not a typical ballet show, though. It’s a show where you will find yourself laughing out loud in certain scenes, where the two worlds of ‘peaceful’ and ‘energetic’ as well as ‘colourful’ and ‘dark’ collide to create a storyline with a strong message.

This message is about looking beyond first impressions, of ridding ourselves of prejudice and embracing open-mindedness. While it is a story of love, it carries a certain depth to it, which encourages the viewer to not stick labels on people based on stereotypes.

It shows that there is no black and white in life and, most importantly, how sometimes ‘white’ might be ‘black’ and ‘black’ might be ‘white’, a colour association which, in itself, carries a certain connotative meaning. This play with colour association and defying stereotypes also seems to be a central theme throughout the production.

Who is the Show for?

Edward Scissorhands at Theatre Royal is for everyone, especially those who aren’t usually drawn to ballet. It offers a unique twist on the classic performance, making it accessible for those seeking a taste of what ballet has to offer. And of course, those who are fans of the original film will love it

The performance has something everyone will love. I’m certain those who enjoy visually appealing scenography, fashion, the era of the 90s, the power of dance and a good old-fashioned love story, will find something to take away with them long after the curtain has closed.

Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures will be playing Edward Scissorhands until 6 April. Book your tickets here.