Review: Blood Brothers still a huge success after three decades

Picture: Lorne Campbell / Guzelian
Blood Brothers play at The Alhambra Theatre, Bradord, West Yorkshire.
12.9.08
Picture: Lorne Campbell / Guzelian Blood Brothers play at The Alhambra Theatre, Bradord, West Yorkshire. 12.9.08
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Blood Brothers, Lyceum

If you’ve never been to a musical, then Blood Brothers is a must.

It’s a story that has lasted the test of time and after three decades on the stage is still worthy of a deafening standing ovation.

Telling the tale of twins separated at birth, with one enjoying a privileged childhood and the other growing up in poverty, Willy Russell’s Blood Brothers follows the lives of Mickey and Eddie who against all the odds become best friends without realising they are siblings.

Set on the streets of impoverished Liverpool, their destitute birth mother gives away one twin to avoid social services splitting up her family, with Lyn Paul, playing Mrs Johnstone, giving an honest, gritty performance as she struggles with the heartache and guilt she feels at giving a son away to a wealthy family on the posh side of town.

In moving scenes as she struggles with her decision, Lyn’s heartfelt emotion is raw and sincere, with her ending up in genuine tears when tragedy strikes in the final scene.

Despite the dark and haunting storyline, this touring version has an injection of humour, with seven-year-old boys played by grown men as Mickey and Eddie’s bond develops.

Mickey, played by Sean Jones and Eddie, played by Mark Hutchinson, have the audience in hysterics with their childish antics and swearing as their friendship blossoms, without the pair realising they are twins.

Their older brother Sammy, played by Adam Search, adds to the comedy with a polished portrayal of a young delinquent.