From its dramatic beginning to its tragic ending, Willy Russell’s gripping story of fraternal twins, separated as babies, who subsequently meet up and not knowing they are brothers form a bond that seems unbreakable.
There are several pivotal roles in this musical.
Linzi Hateley, who has a whole raft of starring roles in West End productions under her belt, is Mrs Johnstone whose husband walks out on her leaving her with seven children to support. However, when she discovers that she is expecting twins, she makes the heart breaking decision to give one of them away to her childless, wealthy employer Mrs Lyons (Paula Tappenden).
Linzi had to go through the gamut of emotions from optimism to despair, with her glorious voice carrying the lion’s share of the memorable songs.
The next vital role is that of the Narrator with Robbie Scotcher putting in a chilling performance, made all the more foreboding by his powerful and dramatic speaking and singing voice.
The twins – Alexander Patmore as Mickey, brought up in poverty, and Joel Benedict as Eddie, who lived in comfort, had to age from seven (yes really) to their twenties. This gave these talented actors the chance to depict childish humour and pranks, teenage angst and adult heartbreak.
Danielle Corlass was coquettish as the love interest Linda, which brought the story to its fatal conclusion.
There was a large cast, many of whom played several parts so it is impossible to mention them all.
A member of the sales team at Viewpoint told me some years ago that he thought Blood Brothers was the best musical ever. He could well be right and when I saw it for the first time I agreed with him, and on second viewing I feel the same,
At the curtain call on the first night, the audience rose as one to applaud, many with tears in their eyes.
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