Dance review: Edward Scissorhands - Glasgow

Dominic North is Edward in Bourne's clever production. Picture: Contributed
Dominic North is Edward in Bourne's clever production. Picture: Contributed
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MATTHEW Bourne is such a part of the fabric of British dance that it’s easy to forget just how unique his approach is. Perhaps more than any of his shows, Edward Scissorhands reminds us that great storytelling lies at the centre of all his productions.

Edward Scissorhands

Theatre Royal, Glasgow


With no dialogue to convey this gothic horror turned suburban drama, the characters have to do all the work. But between Bourne’s clever direction and choreography, Lez Brotherston’s remarkable design, and the cast’s strong characterisation, it’s all we need.

There’s little in the way of subtlety here, but that’s the whole point. This is 1950s America, in the grip of “the dream”, and the people attempting to live it are painted with broad brushstrokes.

We meet six families, busy going about their lives in the pastel-coloured town of Hope Springs. At first, it feels like there are too many people, and we’ll never get a handle on who’s who. Within a few short minutes, however, each family is reduced to a manageable stereotype: the sporties, the poor ones, the religious zealots, the ambitious leaders, the adulterous vamp and the “all Americans” with their cheerleading daughter.

Those familiar with the film will know it’s this last family that give this show its heart – generously taking young Edward into their fold, despite his sharp-fingered digits.

And when it comes to the central romance between Kim and Edward, all stereotypes fall away. Backed by Danny Elfman’s original theme, their duets make it virtually impossible to stay dry-eyed.

Seen on 19.11.14

• Run ends today