REVIEW Blood Brothers at The Palace Theatre
Friday 25th May 2018 @ 11:25 by Tom Greggan

Willy Russell’s award-winning Blood Brothers is playing at The Palace Theatre, Manchester, until Saturday May 26th, directed by Bob Tomson and Bill Kenwright.

This legendary musical, set in Liverpool in the 1960s, is sensational and if you don’t really like musicals, this production will still appeal because it has a story to tell.

From its origins of being a Liverpool sensation 35 years ago, to playing in Broadway and the West End for 24 years, this is a musical with a difference because it doesn’t have the razzmatazz of most musicals with show stopping spectacular effects and a chorus line.

The themes of family struggles on the breadline, poverty and hope are the veins of life that breathe reality throughout the storyline with the hit score including; Tell Me It’s Not True, Marilyn Monroe, Easy Terms and Shoes Upon the Table.

The current production of Blood Brothers at The Palace Theatre gets the seal of approval from our Denise Evans.

The leading ladies playing the role of Mrs Johnstone over the years have featured Barbara Dickson, Kiki Dee, Petula Clark, Carole King, Lyn Paul, Linda Nolan, the late Stephanie Lawrence, Helen Reddy and Spice Girl, Melanie C.

The core of this gritty story is a nature versus nurture, class divide, urban plot based around twin brothers Mickey and Eddie who were separated at birth. The mother of the fraternal twins Mrs Johnstone (Lyn Paul) has the dilemma of giving up one of the twins to be raised by a wealthy family, whilst the other brother is raised by the poor Johnstone family.

The tragedy at the end of the story, as both brothers die on the same day, is breath-taking. Lyn Paul is fabulous in the role with a superb voice and punchy characterisation. Narrator (Mathew Craig) carries the story along and is excellent.

Mickey (Sean Jones) and Eddie (Mark Hutchinson) are brilliant in the contrasting roles, especially their portrayals growing up, Mrs Lyons (Sarah Jane Buckley) is charismatic and also Linda (Danielle Corlass).

The talented cast is completed by Daniel Taylor (Sammy), Tim Churchill (Mr Lyons), Graham Martin (Policeman/Teacher), Amy-Jane Ollies (Donna Marie/Miss Jones), Alison Crawford (Brenda), Andy Owens (Perkins), Josh Capper (Neighbour) and Graeme Kinniburgh (Bus Conductor).

The production received rapturous applause with a standing ovation and is certainly not one to miss! To book


By Denise Evans