This blog is about a week late but I’ve been so busy driving up and down the country it has literally come as soon as I could. I think the fact that I’m still so inclined to write this blog really shows how much I feel for Matthew Bourne’s stunning choreographically beautiful interpretation of TIm Burton’s Edward Scissorhands.
Although this performance was utterly breathtaking I will acknowledge that after the first act I was a tad disappointed. I’ve been thinking about how to explain this disappointment and I think finally, after this week of contemplation and reflection it was because it was odd. I’ve seen the film and I know the story so maybe that’s the problem, but I think it had more to do with the fact that I didn’t feel connected to any of the principal dancers during that first half. I’m not one to dwell on something and I would never leave a performance half way through but from eavesdropping at the bar it did seem a running theme with some of the older audience members as well.The first half wasn’t what I expected however, I have to bear in mind that generally I had the same thought on my last views of Bourne’s interpretations of Sleeping Beauty and also, in sense with his Swan Lake.
BUT, and this is massive but hence the capitals, I would urge anyone who believes in the beauty of ballet but also who has open-mindedness towards ballet mixed with modern dance or who just enjoys a good show to go and watch this performance at Sadler’s Wells. The first half yes I was a bit umm and ahhh but the second half is where the magic of Bourne truly lies.
The second half was unbelievable.
The choreography was just so unique and was so well put together with each member of the company performing the intricate patterns they made with not only their feet but arms as well perfectly. I don’t give standing ovations often. But hold on when I tell you the second half took you on an emotional journey of sweet little Edward Scissorhands. I’m not going to ruin the story for those of you who have never seen the film starring Johnny Depp but emotions that this ballet brought out of so many people was incredible. The man behind me who had been dragged there by his girlfriend stopped kicking my seat and leant forward, and the women in front stopped talking.
Matthew Bourne produced a piece of genius with this production. The first half is a teaser for what comes next and that to me appeared to be the ultimate combination of dance and acting skills. The principal dancers had facial expressions I had never on ballet dancer before. There was fear, jealousy, love and hate and it was all portrayed by these talented people and absorbed so fully by the people watching.
I don’t like to mention outstanding cast members usually, maybe because I feel that it takes a company to put on a show but, oh my. Edward (danced by Liam Mower) was a truly terrific. He just had the perfect amount of naivety mixed in with he dance moves. He was funny and sweet and if he’d been a real life boy would probably be the perfect somewhat half dead man for me.
Brilliantly most of the music, although there was some different pieces was recognisable from the film as Danny Elfman’s. Putting that touch in really made this piece seem as though Bourne wasn’t trying to outdo the film but instead work with it to provide a different kind of Edward Scissorhands.
On a somewhat note, I saw this with my dad and although he’s as lovely as they come in my 22 years of seeing ballet after ballet with him I have never seen him give a standing ovation. But he was up first. Now that, that is really saying something.
Tim Burton, it’s time for you to eat your heart out.
Edward Scissorhands is on at Sadler’s Wells until January 11th. For tickets click here.
To purchase Tim Burton’s film click here.
Here is the cast list on the day we saw this amazing piece of dance:
Edward – Liam Mower
Peg Boggs/Old Kim – Etta Murfitt
Bill Boggs – Jack Jones
Kim Boggs – Katy Lowenhoff
Kevin Boggs/Young Edward – Alex Sturman
Charity Upton – Mikah Smillie
Major Franklyn Upton III/Reverend – Gareth Charlton
Darlene Upton – Nicole Kabera
James Upton – Tim Hodges
Tiffany Covitt – Daisy May Kemp
Brad Covitt – Edwin Ray
Candy Covitt – Katie Webb
Chase Covitt – Leon Moran
Joyce Monroe – Saranne Curtin
George Monroe – Daniel Collins
Bunny Monroe – Bethany Pike
Gerald Monroe – Harry Francis
Esmeralda Evercreech – Katelyn Severn
Reverend Judas Evercreech – Dominic Lamb
Marilyn-Ann Evercreech – Mari Kamata
Gabriel Evercreech – Tom Clark
Gloria Grubb – Stephanie Elstob
Manny Grubb – Chris Neumann
Sandra Grubb – Cindy Ciunfrini
Sheldon Grubb – Gavin Persand
Conductor – Benjamin Pope