Preview: Edward Scissorhands

Edward Scissorhands

Bill Cooper

Narrative dance show based on Tim Burton's classic film comes to Glasgow

Sit in a production meeting with Lez Brotherston, and chances are you’ll hear the word ‘why’ on more than one occasion. ‘My training is to question everything,’ says the set and costume designer, ‘it’s just the way I think.’

In 2005, when Brotherston was first collaborating with choreographer Matthew Bourne on a stage version of Edward Scissorhands, the very existence of the sharp-fisted boy was up for discussion.

‘The first question we asked is why does the old man need to make a boy?’ says Brotherston. ‘And we decided that he used to have a son who was struck by lightning while he was playing with scissors and died.’

From there, the subject turned to era. Tim Burton’s film was shot and set in the 1980s, but Brotherston and Bourne had other ideas – taking it back to the 1950s.

Clothes too were altered, largely to facilitate the dancers’ movement. In the film, Edward is made out of an old boiler, while in the dance version, an old leather sofa is ripped up and sewn back together to make a boy.

‘There was such a glut of films being turned into shows at that time,’ recalls Brotherston, ‘and what we didn’t want to do, was just take the film, copy it, and try to put it on stage. The film is its own thing – and that’s not what we do.’

Theatre Royal, Glasgow, Wed 19–Sat 22 Nov.

Edward Scissorhands

Matthew Bourne's balletic adaptation of the magical Tim Burton film.