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A hidden Gem
Member Name: paulie1975
Advantages: Funny, touching and honest
Disadvantages: Nothing, its a great show
I was taken to this show against my will a few years ago and was utterly surprised at how brilliant it is. I visited the show in its London home on Charing Cross road, in one of the smaller, less showy of the West End's theatres.
When I visited it had one of the Nolan sisters playing Mrs Johnstone, she was very good, I understand that Mel C of the Spice Girls has recently played her and think this is a fantastic piece of casting as she has the voice and range to more than do this integral part justice.
Created by Willy Russell this is a stage show that is well known to drama students and perhaps doesn't get the credit it deserves in comparison to flashier more expensive rivals.
The story is of twin boys, due to their poverty in Liverpool, Mrs Johnstone is forced to give one son up, during the show we watch the two boys grow up, fall in with different crowds and the story leads to an inevitable and tragic conclusion.
The story follows Edward, the boy who is sent away for adoption to a better class family and Micky, the son who stays, it tells a tale of differences in social class, education and life, the songs play on this in a humorous diverting way, whilst the actors develop their class divide further.
We see the Police react differently to the boys behaviour based on their class. The story is at times humorous, scathing in its depiction of British social classes and dramatic/tragic.
Characters all suffer, not just the twins, whilst Mrs Johnstone constantly recalls what might have been in a beautifully played out sequence where she imagines herself as Marilyn Monroe. Micky and Edward are two sides of the same coin and their lives intertwine as they both want what the other has, be it love, security or a solid family.
The story is told in an honest fashion with a narrator who cuts through the sentimentality to depict the tale unglamorously and delivers the bad news with relish.
The songs are thoughtful, memorable and really pack a punch, this shocked me as I'd never heard them before, but they are excellent and utterly relevant to the plot, which isn't always the case. The cast were energetic, honest and eloquent, the whole show had a charm which some of the bigger shows lack and real class which most of the bigger shows lack.
Great show, I got 2 tickets for £20 and I think the offer is still available today, definitely worth a look as one of those shows you really ought to see.
Summary: A hidden Gem