Sean Jones as Mickey and Joe Sleight as Eddie. Pictures: Jack Merriman

Blood Brothers

Malvern Theatres


Willy Russell’s legendary Blood Brothers promises an evening of tears, surprises and laughter without a dry eye at the end!

It tells the captivating and very moving tale of twins, who , separated at birth, grow up on opposite sides of the tracks only to meet again with fateful consequences.

Bill Kenwright’s production surpassed 10,000 performances in the West End, one of only three musicals ever to have achieved that milestone and few musicals have achieved quite such acclaim as the multi-award winning Blood Brothers.

It has been affectionately christened the “Standing ovation Musical” as inevitably it “brings the audience cheering to its feet and roaring its approval” (The daily Mail).

The superb score includes Tell me its not true, Bright New Day and Marilyn Monroe.

The Narrator, played powerfully by Scott Anson, tells us the story of the Johnstone twins, Mickey and Edward who were separated at birth and died the same day.

First we meet the twins’ mother Mrs Johnstone, played with great depth and emotion by X Factor’s Niki Colwell Evans, who returns to the role after playing it in the West End.

She is a lower working class woman who was abandoned by her husband after giving birth to five children and while pregnant with another. She reminisces about the days she went dancing with her husband who made her feel like Marilyn Monroe. Through her song, Marilyn she describes her life as a never ending cycle of unpaid bills and hungry children.

Mrs Johnstone works at the house of Mrs Lyons, played effectively by Sarah Jane Buckley , a wealthy woman who longs for a child of her own.

Mrs Johnstone is pregnant again and is devastated to discover she is carrying twins. When she reveals this to Mrs Lyons, she implores her to let her take one of the twins which is unthinkable but Mrs Johnstone doesn’t know how she will feed two more mouths. She eventually agrees to swear on the bible never to reveal the truth of their bargain.


Niki Colwell Evans as Mrs Johnstone and Sean Jones as Mickey

As promised, after giving birth one of the twins is given away.

After Mrs Johnstone returns to work Mrs Lyons does not like the attention she is giving to her baby and fires her.

Throughout the play the narrator gives foreboding warnings of the misfortunes that will follow, and the wrath of the devil.

The twins meet up by chance seven years later. When they find that they share a birthday they make a pact to become “Blood brothers”.

Despite the disapproval of their mothers Mickey and Edward stay in contact over the following years, in spite of their very different backgrounds. Mickey grows up in a rough and tumble background whereas Edward grows up in the lap of luxury believing Mrs Lyons to be his mother.

The events that follow take us on a rollercoaster journey, brought to us by a stunning and talented cast, through dazzling song and dance routines and ending in violent disaster.

I have seen this incredible show many times but tonight’s performance, with the dynamism and energy of this very talented cast stood out to me.

Returning to the role of Mickey is Sean Jones who gave a fantastic and highly emotional performance especially at the end while Joe Sleight gave an excellent performance as twin Eddie.

Gemma Broderick, as Linda gave a highly moving and believable performance.

Graeme Kenniburgh plays the bus conductor and postman, Josh Capper plays a neighbour, Mr Lyons is played by Tim Churchill, Chloe Pole plays Donna Marie and Miss Jones, Danny Knott is Perkins, Jess Smith is Brenda, Timothy Lucas plays Sammy and Alex Harland is a teacher and a policeman.

This stunning cast received a well- deserved standing ovation at the end.

Not to be missed this show runs to 27-01-24.  

Jane Lush


Index page Malvern Reviews A-Z Reviews by Theatre