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“Magical, stunning, emotional” – Reviewing Edward Scissorhands at Hull New Theatre

Matthew Bourne’s “Edward Scissorhands” opened at Hull New Theatre last night for this week’s production.  I would suggest that if you don’t have tickets, get them, NOW.  

The production is about a boy created by a mad inventor on a hill, to replace the inventor’s dead son, who died holding a pair of scissors.  New Edward is left alone when the inventor dies of a heart attack leaving Edward to find his way in the outside world with only scissors for hands.  Edward wanders into the local village, will he find acceptance there?

This production is just absolutely superb.  It’s magical, emotional and full of action throughout with some comedic moments threaded in. The set is stunning, with magical houses and superb backscenes.  The snow scenes seem so real that you could believe you were there, in the snow.  

Local boy-turned-star Liam Mower, (the original Billy Elliott, the musical, who initially trained at NAPA in Hull) reprises his role as Edward with a stunning portrayal of the character’s journey to acceptance.  He sympathetically portrays Edward’s confusion at new surroundings and how people in the outside world act and react when they see his hands.  Mower has some beautiful scenes to develop this portrayal, there was a beautiful scene in the Boggs family home, where he stays in young Kim Boggs’s room (Kim played/danced by Jade Copas).  His fascination with a wind charm, the bedroom furniture and the photos of Kim on the wall in her key costume of cheerleader.  The pictures are beautifully and skilfully brought to life as Kim and her fellow Cheers dance around Edward.

Not only was the scenery fabulous, but the costumes were gorgeous too.  Set in the 50’s the dancers wore either beautiful dresses or with the gents, smart suits and smart casual wear.  The townsfolk all looked great and the young townfolk all wore typical rock n roll jeans, jackets, and hairstyles.  It was so colourful.  There was so much going on with the townsfolk that no matter which part of the stage you looked, people were doing different activities and then joining in the dance.  At one point, the topiary figures joined in the dancing and being a Matthew Bourne production, it didn’t seem out of the ordinary.  

Oh the dance.  So smooth and well executed, highly polished.  It was a joy to watch from smaller numbers with the characters to larger cast numbers.  I particularly loved the scene between Edward and Kim towards the end of the production.  The pas de deux was emotional, and beautifully danced to wonderful music.  I really felt it in my heart.  

This really is a great production.  The music score is impressive and gave me hints of a few tunes from West Side Story when the teenagers were dancing.  The musicians were excellent.  

Apart from Liam Mower having a local connection, there was also a Hull connection with Neil Westmoreland (Resident Artistic Associate whom I remember teaching as a young boy at Skelton Hooper School.) Hull really is a hotbed of talent.

The audience last night consisted of first-time balletgoers, and others young and old.  All lapped up the story and a standing ovation came at the end.  Liam Mower got a massive cheer and solo ovation last night as the Hull audience cheered one of their own.

Should you go and see this?  Heck yes.  It doesn’t matter if you have never seen a ballet before, this is not like a ‘classical’ ballet.  It’s modern, fast-moving and will reel you in from the opening scenes to the encore.  Don’t miss it.  It is one of Hull New Theatre’s best production bookings in recent years and well worth the price of the ticket.

Edward Scissorhands is running until the 27th of April 2024. Tickets are available at Hull New Theatre’s website.

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