If anyone studied GSCE Drama, you’ll know this name. My memories had faded but I knew I loved it. I wasn’t really familiar of the story and songs but I went in excited and looking forward to learning the story more. Blood Brothers, in short, is about a set of twins separated at birth and bought up by very different families. We see them grow, learn, part ways, come together and see aspects of their lives fall apart. I love the underlying theme of fate, superstition and secret.
I have to say, I think the casting of this production was excellent. Everyone excelled in their own ways and really complimented each others talents. Lyn Paul took on the emotionally torturous role of Mrs Johnstone, the biological Mother of the boys. After reading up about her I wasn’t surprised that she had played this role for over 20 years now. Her singing voice was incredible, mixing an old fashioned style with modern twang and energy. She really did put her all into this grating role and was in tears for the bows. I was so shocked to learn that she’s 70!
The energetic character of Mickey was played by Alexander Patmore. I can only imagine how exhausting and challenging this role is. Going from a hyperactive 7 year old to a drug addicted, broken man. He really took us on a journey with his acting skills and it was really admirable. Joel Benedict played Eddie, the other brother. He has played this role before and I think it’s a great aesthetic match. He also transformed from child to man so seamlessly before our eyes and he had a lovely singing voice.
The whole cast really were so strong . I would say the musical isn’t the most ‘SINGY’ musical, if that makes any sense. Although we hear some beautiful musical moments from Mrs Jonestone and the Narrator, it’s not revolved around it. I actually liked this and meant i was able to concentrate solely on the story, the emotion and the character developments without picking out harmonies, listening out for belted notes or judging singing voices. It meant, to me, the show flowed really well.
The humor in the show reminded me of ‘Our House’ so if you got on well with that, you’ll like Blood Brothers. Although there are some really funny and candid moments, the emotionally driven story line really sticks with you. There’s nothing more sad than someones life deteriorating because of the opportunities they can’t receive and the environment they’re bought up in. I haven’t been so drawn in by theater in a long time. It was the kind of story where you put yourselves in their shoes, ask yourself what you would do. The ending was truly thrilling and really emotional.
In short, it was a great production. It’s only in Brighton until the 8th so please consider buying tickets, especially to see such a well seasoned cast. Get down to the theater, watch some PROPER acting and experience a touching and tragic story line that’ll make you think.