Matthew Bourne's Edward Scissorhands to Cut a Rug at Sadler's Wells New Season

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14 Mar 2005

Tony Award winner Matthew Bourne (Swan Lake), whose Play Without Words is currently preparing for its stateside debut at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, will helm the stage version of "Edward Scissorhands" at London's Sadler's Wells Theatre coming season.

As part of his appointment as one of three new artistic associates of the UK dance venue, Bourne will continue his work on the upcoming Edward Scissorhands. Jonzi D and the team of Michael Nunn and William Trevitt were also appointed. (To read more about the new direction, visit www.playbillarts.com.)

Plans for the new work have been in development over the past few years and, with the new residency, have become firm. The 1990 Tim Burton fairy tale film will be made into a dance theatre piece — in the vein of Bourne's Swan Lake — rather than a musical.

The film's screenplay writer Caroline Thompson and music composer Danny Elfman are developing the work with Bourne and his company, New Adventures.

"Edward Scissorhands" follows the story of a young man (as played by Johnny Depp) created by an inventor (Vincent Price) who dies before finishing his work — leaving the man with scissors instead of hands. When a determined Avon lady (Dianne Wiest) discovers him in his castle, she attempts to bring him into her home. Before long, the community becomes involved and Edward's hands become more trouble than they are cut out for. Winona Ryder, Kathy Baker, Anthony Michael Hall and Alan Arkin also starred in the movie.



Bourne danced his way into the mindset of theatregoers with his theatrical stagings of Cinderella (Evening Standard Award), The Car Man (L.A. Drama Critics' Circle Award) and Swan Lake — which earned him an Olivier Award and two Tony Awards. Recent credits include choreography on the West End staging of Mary Poppins and the upcoming BAM debut of Play Without Words.

"It's in the style of my other pieces," Bourne recently told The Village Voice. "It's definitely not a musical... I was quite open-minded toward a musical, but [the creators] wanted it like the other pieces. They were excited by the prospect of non-verbal theater. It came from them, really. We've written the scenario for this version. It's quite different from the 1990 film. Danny [Elfman]'s written some more music and it's starting to be designed. We hope to go into rehearsal by September. We're quite far down the road."

Thompson and Elfman are masters of the macabre. Screenwriter Thompson has also penned the 1991 film "The Addams Family" and Tim Burton's "The Nightmare Before Christmas," while Elfman is known for countless movie scores — many with Burton — including "Pee-wee's Big Adventure," "Beetlejuice," "Scrooged," "Batman," "Dick Tracy," "Army of Darkness" and "Sleepy Hollow."

Sadler's Wells is located on Rosebery Avenue in London and can be found on the web at www.sadlerswells.com.