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REVIEW: Edward Scissorhands at Newcastle Theatre Royal

Edward Scissorhands

Newcastle Theatre Royal

Wednesday 27 March – Saturday 6 April 2024

Edward Scissorhands is the latest tale to get the Sir Matthew Bourne treatment and it has landed at the Theatre Royal for two weeks. A packed theatre was given a real treat on opening night as the fairy tale is brought to life by a hard working cast and some clever lighting and stage design.

Based upon the 1990 Tim Burton movie, this version of the story has had some minor changes in order to fit with the the demand of a dance show. Having said that, the delivery has much in common with the storytelling of the silent film era, including the ability to make the audience laugh at the light hearted moments. Whilst this is a dance show, the plot is central to the action and it was easy to follow.

At first we have Xavier Andriambolanoro Sotiya as Young Edward playing with scissors when he is struck by lightning and he dies. Sadly this leads to a funeral. Some years later The inventor (Luke Murphy) creates an almost Frankenstein type creature that is brought to life. The humanoid has scissors for hands whilst he works on traditional hands. Before such hands are fitted, the premises are broken into by local youths on Halloween and the Inventor dies of a heart attack leaving Edward with just scissors for hands. 

Edward ventures into town and is taken in by Peg Boggs (Kerry Biggin), her husband Bill (Glenn Graham) and their two children Kevin (Sotiya) and Kim (Ashley Shaw). Edward takes a shine to Kim but she is more interested in Jim Upton (Benjamin Barlow Bazeley) and this leads to some friction in the community. Things start to look up for Edward, within the community, when he turns his skills to a spot of topiary and hairdressing.  But, as is often the case in fairy tales, the path rarely takes a straight forward direction.

You have Kim's boyfriend who is less than keen on Edward and some religious neighbours, The Evercreech's, who don't approve and add sufficient friction to keep the story interesting.

As a performance it works as you care about the characters. There are times on stage when Edward is alone and you feel for his circumstances. There are other points in the show, including the Christmas party, when Bourne fills the stage with  dancing. I don't think you could but more people on the stage without them getting in the way leading to a spectacle of colour. Each person has their own personality, no matter how minor they are to the overall picture.

The show runs for just under two hours including the interval and hence it doesn't has any excess padding that you sometimes get with, say, musical adaptions. It is a lean efficient story with a nice edge of clever sets and lighting to help the tale flow and still feel a bit weird - just like the original movie. I loved how the individuality of each character even extends to the uniqueness of their costume.

At the curtain call Liam Mower, quite rightly, was given an ovation after an impressive performance that sees him on stage for much of the time. This show benefits from a hard working cast performing in a great fairytale that is well told. A recommended watch for the Easter break.

Review: Stephen Oliver

Photos: Johan Persson


Edward Scissorhands plays Newcastle Theatre Royal Wednesday 27 March – Saturday 6 April 2024. Tickets can be purchased at or from the Theatre Royal Box Office on 0191 232 7010.

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