Edward Scissorhands, Wales Millennium Centre

March 20, 2024 by


At first I was groaning at the cliched characterisation of a gay male couple with their baby, but the normalisation of people who had fitted into the heteronormative world made sense, as opposed to the boy with scissor hands who could never fit in. In a similar way, the colour blind casting also helped make Edward even more different, unacceptable and ultimately doomed.

However, what makes this a really enjoyable evening at the theatre is the exquisite dance vocabulary performed with boundless skill and energy from Bourne’s New Adventures company. The music from Danny Elfman and Terry Davies is atmospheric and haunting, enabling scenes of unrequited love, youthful exuberance, Hope Spring’s stylised 1950s comedy character ensembles, fantasy topiary dances and poignant duets to be even more delicious.

These are all excellent dancers and my eyes were continuously moving around not to miss a second of their sharp characterisations, physical interpretations of plot and emotion.

Liam Mower is utterly captivating as Edward with the melding of innocence and awkwardness with humour and insight. Other engaging performances came from Nicole Kabera as the town good time woman Joyce Monroe, and Ben Brown with legs that seem to go on forever (length and dancing) as the boo hiss boyfriend of Kim.

Liam shares the role with Stephen Murray.

As the love interest Kim, Ashley Shaw is an elegant and charming dancer who brought a delicate chemistry to the duets with Edward.

My only criticism, and it really is small, is that this is really most enjoyable for the razor sharp (no pun intended) ensemble dance numbers and there are plenty of them. The Edward story is of course at its heart but as a piece of dance music theatre it is the vivacious full cast scenes, balanced with the more nuanced vignettes, that makes this special.

I hope I am not telling tales out of school but, when asked, Sir Matthew said he expected Swan Lake would be the next New Adventures outing to Cardiff.

Wales Millennium Centre until March 23.


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