Woking saw the iconic Edward Scissorhands being brought to snip away at people’s heart strings at Matthew Bourne’s interpretation taking place at the New Victoria Theatre this week.
First off I need to come clean. This is the first time I have ever been to a ballet. My experience extends to three scenarios.
1. Fuzzy Felt Ballet set – fantastic and impressive, all tutus and black background
2. Being sent to Ballet when young, because the doctor said it would help my poor co-ordination. Ballet, and picking up pencils with my toes. It must have worked because I have no problem lifting a glass to my lips.
3. Accompanying my two girls who chose Ballet as their entry into the world of dance. Sometimes this was quite stressful, they often moaned about the leotards annoying their bums.
I didn’t know ballet etiquette but decided that sitting through in first position would be good. I had the option to change to fifth position if I needed the loo. (Practical applications of Ballet: Tip 1)
Settled in is where the magic then began. The scenery is stunning and the imagery brings to mind magic stories like watching a moving picture box, despite the size of the theatre, in a very intimate way.
Dominic North as Edward is endearing and vulnerable, as his creator dies shortly after his Frankenstein experiment to build a boy born from sadness and before he has the chance to give him hands, it is a very touching scene.
The whole production as a light and dark, the surface and depth of how we live, Hope Springs like Stepford and yet Edward’s birthplace reminiscent of the Addam’s Family more honest for it. The set and costumes designed by Lez Brotherston matched with the skill and expressive communication of the Company does this so well. The comic and tragic almost Shakespearean in the metaphysical background mixed with Gormenghast rising behind to Edward’s rise and inclusion in real warm family and village life and shunning again from it. Losing his love and yet, in the end never losing her.
The comic moments were excellent, like I said, I have never been to a ballet and it wasn’t the place I expected to see a woman trembling on a twin tub to make her smile. Similarly I didn’t expect the emotion that emerged on seeing the vulnerable figure of Edward appear at the end as Dominic North came forward to take his applause.
Woking on a Tuesday in January isn’t the place you’d expect people jumping to their feet so impulsively to applaud a ballet and those that would didn’t look like the people who would applaud a Tim Burton styled production, but it was and they did and the Company deserved it for a brilliantly moving and uplifting performance.
So I haven’t been to a ballet before but I definitely will be again and if you haven’t then try this one, it has all the classic themes, reminiscent nostalgia from the days of Sharks and Jets, Goth novels and Stepford, a real mixture of 20th century iconic genres in one go from Caroline Thompson’s original screenplay to stage.
Yours, a ballet virgin aged 48 & 3/4
Edward Scissorhands is at Woking’s New Victoria Theatre until Saturday 17 January you can book on 0844 8717645 or http://www.atgtickets.com