Edward Scissorhands – Review – Hull New Theatre

edward scissorhands review hull

By Karl Hornsey, April 2024

Such is the remarkable imagination required to conceive the original story of Edward Scissorhands, it takes something close to an artistic genius to transform that into a ballet. And, realistically, there’s only one man who could achieve such a feat. That man is Matthew Bourne and the audience at Hull New Theatre were on their feet at the end of the opening night of this run of the return of the stage production by Bourne’s New Adventures company. That New Adventures are the only company in the world that performs the story as a theatrical spectacle is testament to the trust placed in Bourne by the writers of the original story and screenplay, Tim Burton and Caroline Thompson.

Bourne first brought Edward Scissorhands to the stage as long ago as 2005 but, as with most fantasies, this is a timeless tale that can told with great relevance in any day and age, and this is a hugely welcome return to the stage. Having seen and loved Swan Lake and Romeo and Juliet, previous New Adventures productions to come to Hull New Theatre, I knew what to expect in terms of style and how the story would be handled, but that still can’t prepare you for the moving beauty of the tale that unfolds in front of you. This is a performance full of so many mixed emotions, of joy and laughter, of pain and sorrow, of confusion and uncertainty – all of which are relatable for the audience, even though the story is one from a fantasy world.

Edward Scissorhands – Review – Hull New Theatre (2)

“Beautifully portrayed”

Of course, there are differences between the much-loved film and this adaptation, chief among them being the shift in setting from the 1980s to the 1950s. As it’s a fantasy, it could be set in any era, but this move allows for an ‘all-American’ set and dance scenes to be invoked and works perfectly, with the enchanting original score by Danny Elfman added to by new music and arrangements by Terry Davies, and the design by Lez Brotherston one that’s familiar to anyone who has seen previous Bourne productions.

Much to the delight of the audience, the eponymous Edward was played by Hull-born Liam Mower, and he beautifully portrayed the whole range of emotions that Edward feels as he is taken from the Gothic castle where his, now deceased, inventor created him to the completely alien world of 1950s suburbia. Edward is an outsider who those around him grow to love, but one who can never truly to fit in due to being ‘different’ and Mower conveys his character remarkably, without slipping into caricature.

Edward Scissorhands – Review – Hull New Theatre (1)


This is by no means an entirely dark tale though, as there are wonderfully colourful and vibrant sets to contrast with the Gothic elements, and the scenes in which all of the dancers are on stage are full of humour, energy and positivity, which contrasts perfectly with the darker elements. Nicole Kabera as the over-the-top man-eating Joyce almost steals the show with her performance, and Jade Copas shines in her role as Kim Boggs, whom Edward falls in love with and whose storyline is such a key thread of the tale.

There are many messages conveyed in the original story and none of those go missing, despite being told in this form, without words and with ‘only’ actions to convey them. To achieve that requires something truly special, and that truly special could only be Matthew Bourne and New Adventures.

Edward Scissorhands is at Hull New Theatre until 27th April


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