Matthew Bourne has described the story of Edward Scissorhands as a ’modern fairytale’ and his production is just that.

His all-dance version is razor-sharp from the off, drawing inspiration from Frankenstein for the opening scene where we see a bereaved professor bring Edward to life with scissors instead of hands.

Tragedy then throws his fully-grown but child-like creation into 1950s suburban American and the skill with which Bourne paints the town’s various characters – the shiny blonde cheerleader, the beer bellied, beer-swilling dad, the gothic vicar – through dance is astonishing in its fine detail.

Indeed when the alarms go off and the town emerges from their literally picture-perfect homes, there is so much happening on stage that it is almost overwhelming, the preppy family bouncing around, the vampy neighbour high-kicking, the fathers going off to work.

This flurry of activity serves as a perfect contrast to the stillness of Edward who is brought to life by Dominic North with tenderness and seeming ease, despite his restrictive costume. We watch him grow from a tentative fledgling into a amusing parrot, imitating the kindly Peg Boggs (Etta Murfitt) who takes him under her wing, and then growing in confidence as his knack for hedge and hair cutting makes him into a local celebrity.

Do not expect endless pirouettes, and there isn’t a pointe shoe in sight. This is Bourneland, where dance and theatre combine to tell story with movement, playful topiary people, a huge ice sculpture, dazzling costumes including leather jackets and red wedges, and picture perfect sets.

The musical arrangements from Terry Davies also play a big part in capturing both the quirks of everyday life and magical quality that Tim Burton created with his film.

There are two more classic duets though, between Edward and the girl he falls for, Kim Boggs, danced beautifully by Ashley Shaw. One with Edward imagining life with human hands and the other when Kim has rejected her pretty but dumb jock boyfriend and seen past Edward’s difference and they glide across the stage in united bliss.

The show really does build to an emotional peak in the final scenes as Edward discovers he has flown too close to the sun and discovers the price people pay for being ’different’ and there were tears on cheeks as the curtain fell, in part I’m sure due to the mirror it holds up to our society.

Sadler's Wells, Rosebery Avenue, Islington, until January 11. Details: 0844 412 4300,