Newest Review: ... other as two new pins Of one womb born, on the self same day How one was kept and one given away?" Blood Brothers is a very power... more
Member Name: jcpurpledragons
Advantages: Laughter and tears in a class hitting musical.
Disadvantages: I've seen it 10 times now as its so useful for GCSE Drama.
Blood Brothers, first developed by Willy Russell in 1981 within school workshops, was revamped by Bill Kenwright in 1987 and returned to the West End the following year. It was the first West End revival to be nominated for the Best Musical Revival Olivier Award within two years of winning the Original Best Musical production. It transferred from the Albery to the Phoenix four years later in 1991, where it remains today and has become one of the longest running musicals in the West End
Set in working class 1950-60s Liverpool, the context in which Russell himself grew up, the musical deals predominantly with the issue of class.
The play's circular narrative sets the tragic tone from the start, which is then quickly contrasted by its comical musical style. Unlike most other West End musicals, this one is truly concerned with plot and its social message. However it manages to have a lot of fun along the way, particularly in the early scenes with hilarious adult performances of children, and a clever use of multi-rolling.
However, by the end the characters have moved from comic stereotypes to ones you care about, and the more sensitive among you might even find a few tears welling up as you jump at the climax.
I'd recommend it as a musical, that even those who aren't keen on musicals can enjoy.
Director: Bob Tomson & Bill Kenwright
Design: Andy Walmsley
Musical Director: Rod Edwards
Lighting: Nick Richings
Helen Hobson Mrs Johnstone
Jay Roberts Mickey
Joe Fredericks Eddie
Steven Houghton Narrator
Joanne Zorian Mrs Lyons
Stephen Pallister Mr Lyons
Debbie Eden Linda
Michael Southern Sammy
Adam Tedder PC/Teacher
Amy O'Neill Donna Marie
Emma Nowell Brenda
Simon Turner Perkins
Alex Harland Bus Conductor
Michael Everest Neighbour
Nightly Evening Performance: 7.45pm
Phoenix Theatre, Charing Cross Road, WC2.
Nearest tube: Tottenham Court Road.
Tel: +44 (0)20 7369 1733.
Summary: A highly comical tragic musical.
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