Review of ‘Blood Brothers’

In November, Year 10 got to go to the Riverside Theatre, Coleraine to see a production of Willy Russell’s Blood Brothers. I really enjoyed this production. I was hooked throughout the whole show and could not take my eyes off what was infolding on the stage! The cast were all brilliant actors/ actresses who played their characters to perfection! I really liked the contrast between the characters- no one person in the play was the same. They were all different and worked in unity to make the production the best it could be.

Once we were all seated, the lights dimmed and the play began. It started with a narrator who would make several appearances later in the show. I think this character could have been created a little better as he created an eerie, unfriendly atmosphere; his voice was dark and evil and his costume was menacing and intimidating. In my opinion, he should have been directed differently, with an alternate characterisation, to give him a friendlier, more positive character.

The play then moved to the opening scene, which was of a woman singing. Later, we found out that she was named Mrs Johnston. The opening scene of anything is very important and this was no exception: the song sung in this scene gave a structure to the whole play as it was sung and referred to throughout the rest of it. It was set in a poor street in a rough part of town. You could tell by the clothing that they were poor. I thought the actress playing Mrs Johnston played the part of a poor, hard-working mother who was obviously under stress, very well. As the play progressed, new characters were introduced, such as Mickey, Eddie and Linda. Mickey and Eddie were the two main characters in the play and, as you might have guessed, they were the ‘Blood Brothers’ mentioned in the title. Mrs Johnston had given birth to these two boys, but already had several children and, being in the situation that she was in, she couldn’t take care of two new children. Her employer (Mrs Lyons) had always desperately wanted a son and now a perfect opportunity had been presented: she managed to negotiate her way in, and, with much unwillingness and, later, many regrets from Mrs Johnston, Mrs Lyons took one off the twins under her care. She took Eddie while Mrs Johnston kept Mickey. They swore never to let the twins know that they were brothers.

Plot lines developed and questions were asked as we followed the lives of these twins. Eddie grew up as a wealthy, posh and well-educated boy while Mickey grew up on the rougher side of town; he became a mischievous, playful and bad-mannered boy. Mickey grew up having as much fun as he could while Eddie grew up not knowing the meaning of fun. As you can see, they are quite the opposite.

As time progresses they eventually cross paths and meet new people, still not realising that they are twins. I’ll leave the rest for you to discover for yourselves, but I will give mention to the ending: with their dying breath the boys discover their true identity and die the same way they were born: together.

This is a brilliant production- the actors and actresses’ story-line, characters, everything about the play was great! Even the seats were comfy and the theatre had a good layout! Overall, this is a fantastic play that I would recommend to anyone and I would definitely see again!

Michael White 10R