Stars explained: * A production of no real merit with failings in all areas. ** A production showing evidence of not enough time or effort, or even talent, and which never breathes any real life into the piece – or a show lumbered with a terrible script. *** A good enjoyable show which might have some small flaws but has largely achieved what it set out to do.**** An excellent show which shows a great deal of work and stage craft with no noticeable or major flaws.***** A four star show which has found that extra bit of magic which lifts theatre to another plane.
Half stars fall between the ratings

Blood line still going strong

Worlds apart:  Chris Drew as Mickey bought and paid for by his mother Mrs Lyons, played by Louise Fulwell  and Marika Farr as Mrs Johnstone with her retained twin Mickey played by Nathan Lawrence

Blood Brothers

The Nonentities


AFTER 30 years and in a variety of different guises, it seems that the contemporary tale of the fated Johnstone twins can still attract an audience at any level as this current production of Blood Bothers by The Nonentities proves.

On a hot summer night, when most people would be more inclined to stay at home or sit outside, the 200 seater theatre was filled to capacity.

Whilst Blood Brothers the musical is as still popular as ever, the play version here proves also that the basic truths inside this working class ` rags and riches'  story remain as vibrant and informative as ever with its insights into opportunity, class , and the workplace in this country.

So, a brief synopsis for those that may not know the story line; a working class and poverty stricken Liverpudlian mother cannot afford to bring both of her new born twins up and so agrees to give one away to her rich employer. The act sets in motion a chain of events that, through the boys lives, leads to their fateful end.

Mrs Johnstone was played by Marika Farr and although this was not the musical version began the production with a marvellous rendition of the opening song Marylyn Monroe. She has a lovely voice and it would have been nice to have injected another song along the way although a couple of simple acappella moments by her still held the audience's attention.

Mrs Johnstone and Mrs Lyons seal the fate of the twins for a promise and a handful of cash

The twin boys Eddie and Mickey were played by Chris Drew and Nathan Lawrence respectively. Both of these gave great performances capturing the evolving differences of the separated brothers from children into young men with ease.

Their love interest Linda, played by Rachel Lawrence, again performed well and notably ,along with other members of the cast, managed a very convincing Liverpool accent.

The rich surrogate mother Mrs Lyons was played by Louise Fulwell who did a nice job of portraying a self-obsessed woman who descends into desperation and poor mental health.

The Narrator was played by Richard Taylor and again kept his thick Liverpudlian accent nicely in check whilst delivering the connecting prose that links many of the scenes.

The play is directed by Sue Downing and the production team had built a very good set that featured some rear projection that constantly changed the mood of the setting. The lighting by David Goddard and Derek Taylor was also well thought out and effective at creating some very nice changes especially for the individual monologues.

Throughout the evening there was something of an uninvited level of audience participation with mutterings and response's and a couple of mobile phones going off but the players never dropped the beat and that is a good indication of their level of commitment in delivering this high quality production. To 22-06-13   

Jeff Grant 

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