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A Review of ‘Blood Brothers’

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Introduction

Drama Coursework A Review of `Blood Brothers' I went to see the musical `Blood Brothers' at the North Wales Theatre in Llandudno, on Monday, 23^rd October. A professional company performed it and the directors were Bill Kenwright and Bob Thompson. The playwright Willy Russell wrote `Blood Brothers'. I thought the show excellent and it definitely fulfilled the high expectations I had of it. The play was essentially a social comedy, but it was partially a tragedy also, both the comedy and tragedy themes kept the audience on the edge of their seats. The production was credible and realistic as people were moved to tears by the end of the performance and the whole house gave a standing ovation. The beginning of the show was extremely effective; it showed the two `Blood Brothers' Mickey and Eddie, lying dead, side by side and equal at last. The stillness created here, by the lack of music was very powerful. The twins were then solemnly carried off stage. The silence and red lighting created a surreal effect. This image was only broken when a gauze screen (that we previously did not realise was there) ...read more.

Middle

Towards the end of the play Mrs Lyons goes insane with guilt, fear and longing. However, this was not shown clearly in this interpretation so we could not understand some of Mrs Lyon's later actions. We do not see that Mrs Lyons is mad so this makes the fight between her and Mrs Johnstone seem unlikely and fake. The fight itself looked flimsy and unrealistic. I think the character should have been developed further and that the fight should have been acted out more convincingly. In the song "My Child" Mrs Lyons took the dominant role, but this was not supported, as her voice was very weak in comparison to Mrs Johnstones'. The stage traffic was cleverly worked out. Everything took place in the middle of the stage and so all props were brought on by the characters. However, the characters never paused or stopped whilst changing or moving the props, they just casually and simply acted around them. On the bus scene and school scene the seats and tables were all calmly brought on by the actors themselves. The simplicity of the scenery and props was capitalised on, in that it served to emphasise the quality of the acting. ...read more.

Conclusion

Yet later this fear rubs off and when Mr Lyons unconcernedly places the shoes on the table Mrs Lyons screams and rushes forward to knock them off. The narrator has an opposite way of portraying superstition he is menacingly calm. These three different effects: Mrs Johnstones' abeyance, Mrs Lyons' terror and the narrator's cool conveyance create a lasting impression of impeding doom. It poses the question of coincidence? Or not? This tension and uneasiness in the audience is only relieved in the moments of laughter and by the sadness at the end when the twins die. The social differences between the two families are highlighted by the policeman's attitude to them. He threatens Mrs Johnstone: "Either you keep them in order, Missis, or it'll be the courts for you, or worse, won't it?" and yet is jovial to Mrs Lyons: "he's a good lad" even though he is visiting them about the same matter. The greatest difference however is seen in the twins, who although being born to the same mother grow up completely different both in outlook and behaviour. The twins' fate is sealed when they are split at birth and despite being `Blood Brothers' they are only "together" and "equal" in death. Overall I thought this was an outstanding play and production. ...read more.

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