blood brothers

Blood Brothers

Wolverhampton Grand Theatre


This perennial favourite written by prolific playwright Willy Russell tells the captivating and moving story of twins who, separated at birth, grow up on “opposite sides of the track”, only to meet up later with fatal consequences.

Beginning with a haunting overture from the orchestra, the whole cast formed an interesting montage on stage, which indicated a promising, entertaining show and, to be fair, in parts, this was the case. The twinkling lights of the Liverpool skyline backdrop was impressive, but had it not had the Liver birds atop the famous landmark Liver building, the overall panorama was more reminiscent of a still from a Harry Potter movie!

With her first song, Marilyn Monroe, Lyn Paul proved her strong vocal ability was key, having played the role of the single mum, Mrs Johnstone, numerous times over many decades. Perhaps now, a little mature for the part, but nonetheless, a great performance.

Sean Jones as Micky Johnstone was consistent and convincing, evolving from child to adult with measured ease, especially in the heartfelt scene when he was pleading with fear and passion for his prescription medication. Super characterisation throughout in the role that has both comedic and tragic elements.

Rather a shame that narrator Mathew Craig’s voice was, on occasions, drowned by the overpowering volume of the music, when both speaking and singing. His portrayal had a devil like quality and as his role was to link the various scenes, it was often difficult to clearly hear the dialogue.

Alas, some of the characters were a tad under par, not quite believable and lacking the level of emotional input required in a play that has very strong emotional foundations. However, the ensemble worked well taking on various roles and the slickness of scene and costume changes was ultra smooth.

Being familiar with the storyline, having seen the play several times, it was nice to see a few small additions which added to an enjoyable evening’s entertainment.

Overall, this legend of modern theatre is still well received by a dedicated band of fans and, at the final number, Tell Me It’s Not True the audience responded with a well-deserved ovation.

Under the direction of Bob Tomson and Bill Kenwright, Blood Brothers is a classic that is a firm favourite with all ages that offers both humour and pathos. With poignant moments and laugh out loud snippets, it’s well worth a viewing. To 21-04-18.

Elizabeth M. Smith and Rosemary Manjunath.


Index page Grand Reviews A-Z Reviews by Theatre