Choreographer/director Matthew Bourne will premiere his long-awaited adaptation of Tim Burton’s 1990 film Edward Scissorhands this winter. The new dance drama will open first at Theatre Royal Plymouth (14-19 November 2005) before transferring for a Christmas season at London’s Sadler’s Wells, from 30 November 2005 (previews from 22 November) to 5 February 2006**, and touring nationally later in the New Year.

In the gothic fairy tale, an eccentric inventor dies before completing his latest creation, a boy who, left with only scissors for hands, must find his own way in a strange suburban world. Johnny Depp took the title role in the screen original, which also starred Winona Rider as his teenage love interest and daughter of the Avon lady who befriends Scissorhands and gives him a home.

While Bourne has had freelance success with musicals such as Mary Poppins, South Pacific and My Fair Lady, for 14 years, he was best known, with producer Katharine Dore, as one half of the renowned Adventures in Motion Pictures whose much-lauded works included Cinderella, The Car Man and the multi award-winning, Swan Lake with its all-male swan chorus, which became the world’s longest running ballet production. Bourne announced his solo outfit, New Adventures, in August 2001.

New Adventures’ first production, Play Without Words, marked a major departure in Bourne’s work. Rather than a reworking of classic ballets as per AMP’s successful formula, the New Adventures inaugural piece – which premiered at the National in August 2003 and went on to win two Oliviers – was loosely based on the 1963 film The Servant and other British new wave cinema releases of the decade.

Edward Scissorhands builds on Bourne’s fascination with film noir and fantasy, which has also influenced his earlier ballets. The show was originally slated for a world premiere under the AMP flag in March 2002 (See News, 6 Feb 2001). The piece is devised, directed and choreographed by Bourne and designed by Lez Brotherson. It will feature original music composed by Terry Davies as well as themes from the original motion picture soundtrack by Danny Elfman.

On stage, the title role will be created and shared by 23-year-olds Sam Archer and Richard Winsor. The 30-strong dance company will also feature associate directors Scott Ambler and Etta Murfitt.

Over the past two Christmases, New Adventures has had sell-out seasons at Sadler’s Wells with Nutcracker! and has also visited with revivals of Swan Lake and Highland Fling. Ahead of Edward Scissorhands, Swan Lake embarks on a new UK tour, taking in seven venues from 19 September to 8 November 2005 before transferring to France and the US. Back at Sadler’s Wells, Highland Fling, Bourne’s reworking of the ballet La Sylphide, returns from 26 August to 3 September 2005.

- by Terri Paddock

** NOTE: Public booking for Edward Scissorhands’ run at Sadler’s Wells opens on Friday 1 July 2005, following Friends' booking from Monday 27 June.