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2008 Event Media Release - Australian Premiere of Edward Scissorhands

Issued 15 April, 2008       

Sydney Opera House, National Australia Bank,
present the Australian premiere of

“Matthew Bourne’s long-awaited staging of Edward Scissorhands has finally arrived, and a magical world beckons…” The New York Times

“…Edward's magic shears make shear theatrical magic” Time Magazine

Sydney Opera House is delighted to present the inaugural season of the Australian premiere tour of Matthew Bourne’s production, Edward Scissorhands, for an exclusive three week season from 29 May – 14 June 2008.

A huge hit in London’s Sadler’s Wells theatre, the Sydney season of this magical new dance theatre production of the classic Tim Burton motion picture has been made possible though the generous sponsorship of National Australia Bank.

Devised, directed and choreographed by Briton, Matthew Bourne, Edward Scissorhands is the  follow-up production to his smash hit  Australian tour of Swan Lake.

The touching and witty gothic fairy-tale transforms the 1990 cult movie into humorous dance drama – with no words to clutter the theatrical terrain. Instead, expressive dance, pantomime, a sumptuous musical score performed live, witty and spectacular stage tableaux and dramatic lighting tell the heart-warming story.

Edward Scissorhands follows Edward, a sweet-natured, wistful young boy, created by an eccentric inventor who, upon his sudden death, leaves him with scissors instead of hands.

Edward flees to Hope-Springs, a candy-coloured 1950s suburban community where he falls for Kim, the teenage daughter of his adopted family. She’s smitten and their tender, yet ill-fated love story is at the heart of Bourne’s stage interpretation.

A treat for the entire family, this enchanting production features outstanding staging notably a scary Halloween sequence, a hilarious neighbourhood ballet and a topiary garden that springs to life.

Brilliant sequences of vivacious dance ensembles favouring scissor-legged lifts, crisp turns and jazz-jiving reminiscent of West Side Story drive the narrative and establish the mood for each scene.

Capturing the deepest of emotions with the tiniest of gestures, Edward majestically brandishes his blades like a peacock in moments of triumph and folds into himself in despair, amplifying his emotional journey as an outcast while endearing him to the audience. Kim’s macho boyfriend revels in a suave bravado and a sultry tango is the motif for the neighbourhood vamp.

The Sydney season of Edward Scissorhands has been made possible through the support of our Presenting Partner, National Australia Bank (NAB).

"We are delighted to be involved in presenting such a successful international production to the people of Sydney. NAB has always believed in people with ideas and dreams so we are thrilled to be supporting Matthew Bourne and his magnificent production and team,” Joseph Healy, NAB
Executive General Manager, Business and Private Banking said.

“Likewise we are very proud to be working in partnership with the Sydney Opera House both as a major sponsor and financial services partner. It has created a unique opportunity for NAB to be aligned with one Australia's true iconic symbols and further reinforces our commitment to the performing arts in Australia."

Adding to the magic of the production are exquisite sets by Lez Brotherston (Swan Lake, Cinderella, Highland Fling,) which evolve from haunted mansions and pastel mini-suburbia to animal topiary with glowing red eyes and a wonderland of glittering ice sculpture.

Composer/arranger, Terry Davies expands the rhapsodic themes in Danny Elfman’s memorable film score and includes captivating jazz and neo-classical tunes of his own.

As part of its partnership with Sydney Opera House, The Balnaves Foundation will help bring this magical production to disadvantaged members of the Sydney community through a Balnaves Foundation Open House Program performance of Edward Scissorhands on Tuesday 3 June 2008. The Program offers $5 tickets to performances for unwaged, pensioners, health care and transport concession card holders.

Founder and Director of the Foundation, Neil Balnaves said, “I am delighted to be bringing a renowned work of international quality to an audience who, otherwise would never have been able to see the show.
“This goes beyond allowing disadvantaged communities to experience a performance at Sydney Opera House, as Edward Scissorhands is a show that deals with people who are treated by society as outsiders or who are marginalised. It is a perfect match."

Edward Scissorhands is a funny, poignant and magical way to spend the evening.

About Matthew Bourne:
Bourne's talents weren't bred in the ballet world. Born in East London, he was a child who loved music, movies and theatre and was putting on little shows at a precocious age. Bourne didn't start dance training until he was 22, studying at the Laban Centre, which puts more emphasis on contemporary dance and composition than on ballet.

Renowned for his inspired interpretations of beloved stories and the winner of five Olivier Awards, Bourne has also dazzled international audiences with his production of Swan Lake (1995) the world's longest-running ballet production featuring a corps of male swans, which was also seen in Stephen Daldry’s hit film, Billy Elliot. 

Swan Lake has made Bourne the only British director to win Tony Awards for both Best Director and Best Choreographer. His other triumphs include Nutcracker!, the witty, erotic Play Without Words, Highland Fling, an adaptation of La Sylphide, Cinderella and his highly original version of Bizet’s Carmen titled The Car-Man. Bourne has also co-choreographed and co-directed the stage adaptation of the motion picture Mary Poppins, which recently opened on Broadway.

Presenting Partner      Sydney Opera House and The Balnaves Foundation:
helping the arts to connect with our community

Supporting Partners: Hungerford Hill, United Group Services
Media Partners: Australian Radio Network, Foxtel

Season Details 

Sydney Opera House: 29 May – 14 June (Australian Premiere: 31 May)
Tickets: 02 9250 7777 | Groups: 02 9250 7700

Claire Vince, Senior Publicist  02 9250 7825 / 0409 560 742

National Tour Details:
Queensland Performing Arts Centre: 18 – 22 June
Tania Stibbe, Publicity Manager; 07 3840 7589 / 0417 645 314

Perth: His Majesty’s Theatre: 1 – 6 July
Lynne Burford, Publicist 08 9355 1455 / 0417 921 038

Melbourne: the Arts Centre: 22 July – 3 August
Christy Bicknell, Publicist 03 9281 8198 / 0403 539 235



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