Thursday, 5 December 2013

Blood Brothers Review

You may say that I'm a fan of this musical. Well, to tell you the truth I have now seen it four times! There have been a few musicals over the years which I've really enjoyed and wanted to see again but I always feel guilty buying a ticket for a show I've already seen rather than broadening my horizons a bit and trying something new. With Blood Brothers I feel absolutely no guilt whatsoever. Admittedly, I studied the text for my drama and English GCSEs so I went twice with school.

The first time I saw it was when I was about fourteen, in Cardiff with my Gran. Linda Nolan was playing Mrs Johnston and I was completely in love with the hilarious, often naughty and deeply sad musical. I saw that Blood Brothers, after spending 24 years in the West End and closing last November, was now touring and it was showing in the New Wimbledon Theatre. I persuaded a couple of my friends to join me and I eagerly booked the tickets.

The cast during 'Kids' Game' Source
Here is the description from their websiteBlood Brothers Musical is, at first, a heart-warming story of Mickey and Edward, two brothers separated at birth, brought together again through friendship. However, their familial relationship is concealed by their guardians who strive to keep them apart because of superstitious beliefs.
      Despite relocating, their lives continue to intertwine, although the deep divisions between the privileged life of Edward and Mickey’s poverty-stricken existence are wholly apparent. As they try to conquer the social divisions which hinder their friendship, they must deal with the harsh realities of class consciousness; Edward goes on to study at Oxford whilst Mickey is forced into a life of crime through unemployment.
      As adults, they are caught up in a vicious love triangle with Mickey’s childhood sweetheart Linda. Mickey’s imprisonment and subsequent depression pushes Linda into the arms of the conciliatory Edward. A desperate Mickey takes drastic action against his fraternal twin which will ultimately expose their true identities.

Mrs Johnstone (Maureen Nolan) and Mickey (Sean Jones) Source
Even though I have seen it quite a few times, I was definitely not disappointed by this production of Blood Brothers. Maureen Nolan played Mrs Johnstone and her voice was beautiful, protraying so much emotion during 'Tell Me It's Not True' that I (and many other audience members) were reduced to tears. Sean Jones and Mark Hutchinson who played Mickey and Eddie were brilliant. I am always astounded at how two adult men can act so convincingly like children. It wasn't ridiculously over the top, as is so easily done with an adult playing a child. It's quite subtle, with body language and they way they talk. Pulling their jumper over their knees, an awkward wave or talking about an older sibling. I completely forgot that I was actually watching adults. I suppose it would be pretty hard to get children to swear like Mickey does too!

The music is wonderful. It's an album I frequently listen to, the songs are so funny and often rather rude. They are upbeat and jaunty with some real belting notes in there to give your vocal chords a good stretch in the shower! There is often an element of sadness and some of the songs are heart breaking, 'Easy Terms' is another song which is heartwrenching but still beautiful. The musical is based in 1960s Liverpool and there are a few cultural references throughout the show, giving it depth and making it part of the larger British story. I think it ticks all the 'musical soundtrack' boxes.

Sammy (Daniel Taylor) and Mickey (Sean Jones) Source
If you haven't yet seen this show then I thoroughly recommend that you do. I am absolutely in love with it. If you've already seen it before, go again! I'm not going to judge you ;)

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  1. I love the theater, I will keep an eye out for this one. I think it is great you have seen it 4 times.

  2. I've never even heard of this show but I'll definitely keep an eye out for it in theaters in the future - it sounds right up my alley :)


  4. I want to go to the theatre now!