Last week was something of a theatre-fest for me, what with my trip to South Pacific on Wednesday and I followed this up with the final performance of Blood Brothers at the Pavilion Theatre, Bournemouth. Now I’ve not seen the show before, although I know a bit about it and know that it has a loyal army of fans that have seen the show multiple times. I’ve been meaning to see the show for years and am so glad that I finally did.
Blood Brothers‘ story of twins, separated at birth as their mother can’t afford to keep both of them and her seven other children, seems quite unlikely subject matter for a musical, and yet it really works, with a powerful score perfectly drawing the audience into an atmosphere of poverty, crime, depression and self-destruction. Ok, I know, not exactly a feel-good musical but my goodness, the tears and standing ovation speak volumes!The current touring production stars Maureen Nolan as Mrs Johnstone, a role she has played before, and she was fantastic, practically breaking down during the final number. We were lucky enough to meet her at the stage door after the performance and she was very gracious and kind enough to have a photo taken with us :0)
Sean Jones and Matthew Collyer as the twins, Mickey and Eddie, played their parts with authority and were as believable as seven-year-olds as they were as grown men. Some of their early exchanges were hilarious and their chemistry throughout was what really made the end so tragic and upsetting. Craig Price as the narrator was really amazing as he was onstage for a lot of the show. The narrator seemed to be always there, always watching over the family a constant reminder that despite the good times, there were bad times to follow. The supporting cast were also top class, again playing multiple characters and multiple ages convincingly.
As I said, I should have seen this show years ago, as it really is gripping, emotional and as relevant now as it was 25 years ago and the wonderful score has not aged in the slightest. The current tour of Blood Brothers is ongoing, so I’d recommend you go and see it, if it’s your first time you certainly won’t be disappointed.