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: rji0907
Advantages: Most fantastic musical I have seen
Disadvantages: Some strong language
I first saw the stage production of Blood Brothers in London on a school trip when I was 14 and was immediately hooked. Since then I have seen it another 5 times and am waiting for it to return to my area to see it again, it really is amazing! It was first staged in 1983 in Liverpool and is still going strong 20 years later being one of the most popular musicals around. Its book, lyrics and music are by Willy Russell.
The story is centred around a scouse family 'The Johnstones' a hard-up working class family. Mr & Mrs Johnstone 'breed like rabbits' until they have a substancial brood of kids before Mr Johnstone leaves for a younger woman leaving Mrs Johnstone a single parent to many kids so for the first time ever she gets a job as a cleaner in the 'well to do' family home of the Lyons family.
After starting this job Mrs Johnstone learns she is pregnant with twins, which she can't afford. Mrs Lyons is desperate for a child yet unable to and suggests that she 'buys' one of Mrs Johnstones children. Reluctantly she agrees and eventually gives birth to twin boys giving Mrs Lyons one. She works on for a while then gets sacked by Mrs Lyons meaning she can no longer see her second child Eddie
A few years later the two children meet randomly in the street and start playing together even though their lives are worlds apart. They learn they have the same birthday calling themselves 'blood brothers'. The story follows the children growing up together, never knowing they are related. Mrs Lyons gets paranoid by the friendship and persuades her family to move, only to be followed by the Johnstones a while later who are re-housed by the council.
The twins become firm friends along with Linda a childhood friend of Mickeys (the second twin). The first half of this musical is a light-hearted look at how their childhoods progress through play and the innocence of children. The second half takes a more serious twist when the three become adults. Eddies life thrives yet Mickeys takes a downward spiral after getting Linda pregnant & getting sacked from his job. When Mickey sees Linda with Eddie its the last straw for him and he decides to take drastic action against Eddie. I wont spoil the ending but if you are a fan of 'happy endings' this may not be for you. The story takes a tragic twist and is probably not what you would expect having seen the rest of this play.
I have seen many musicals and this is the best by far. The acting on each occassion has been top-drawer and the music by Willy Russell is compelling. It will have you laughing all the way through the first act and crying throughout most the second act. This is stage production at its best and I would recommend it to anybody.
One slight warning would be that it does contain quite strong language throughout this show so would not be suitable for young children, also the ending may shock.
After the first few minutes I thought I wasnt going to be very impressed. Strangely the story starts with the ending then goes back to tell the tale of how it all happened through a narrator who is also Mrs Johnstones 'conscience'.
The music is quite light-hearted and almost 'child like' in the first half whilst its following their childhoods but 'Bright New Day' which ends the first act and 'Tell Me Its Not True' at the end of the musical will give you goosebumps. Loved the music in this so much I also have the album.
A thoroughly enjoyable musical which will have you glued to your seat all the way through. I have never yet not seen it get a standing ovation at the end and cant wait to see it again.
Summary: You have to see it!!!!!