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Blood Brothers

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Introduction

Blood Brothers The play 'Blood Brothers' was written by playwrite Willy Russell in the 1980's, which is also when it is set. It is based in and around Liverpool and follows the lives of twin brothers who are separated at birth and live apart, oblivious to each other's existence. Micky stays with his mother (Mrs Johnstone) who cannot afford to have two more mouths to feed and (Mrs Johnstone) sells her other son Eddie to a rich couple who are unable to have children. They meet up again and become best friends growing up together. After dabbling in drugs, women, robbery, guns and the counsel, they end up hating each other. Not until the end when Micky is near breaking point and Eddie heading that way, do they find out they're brothers. I enjoyed this play very much. It has a plot which slowly builds up the tension and drama, starting off with the two brothers being as happy as can be and builds up to the climax. It is a gradual crescendo of tension and excitement as their lives get worse and worse as the play goes on. The mood of the play distinctively changes around half way through. After the audience is shown the end scene at the start of the play the plot is quite light hearted and has some very funny moments, like the conversation between Mickey and Eddie when they first meet and the almost slap-stick scene where the children are playing cowboys and Indians. ...read more.

Middle

This almost drives Mrs Lyons insane and throughout the play does whatever's within her power to stop Eddie finding out. She even tries to kill Mrs Johnstone, which is a great scene and is a perfect example of the conflict in the play. There are many forms of conflict in 'Blood Brothers', physical, verbal, overt and covert, which is what makes the play so tense. When Mrs Lyons argues with Mrs Johnstone just preceding Mrs Lyons attack with a knife there is fantastic verbal conflict which builds up the tension by using short, sharp lines like "Don't lie!" during their very gripping argument. Mrs Lyon's attempted stabbing on Mrs Johnstone releases this tension; this is something that Russell does a lot in this play; release tension in one swift moment which has builds up over the preceding scenes. This is also physical and overt conflict as it is meant to be seen, much like the final scene when the shootings take place (also an example of sudden tension release). Another great way that Russell builds suspense is repeating techniques and images. There are many throughout the play such as the moody and intimidating lighting that mirrored Mrs Lyons emotions in her panicky and edgy moments on stage. The appearance of a mysterious narrator is a good repetitious devise; he not only sets the scene but always adds very philosophical and meaningful interpretative verses that really make you think about the play and see it from a new perspective. ...read more.

Conclusion

'Blood Brothers' touches some rather spooky subjects like fate and superstition and with the play being so easy to relate to as it is local, modern and very cleverly written the audience could get overly wrapped up in the spiritual side of the play. Russell showing us the end of the play as an opening sequence is an ingenious idea. It leaves so many questions open in your mind before the play has even begun; this way the tension is automatically very high when the play starts. The audience is instantly hooked when they learn the two main characters die before they have even been introduced to them leaves the audience anticipating throughout the whole play. They want to know how it was that twin brothers died on the same day at the same time? What circumstances befell them and brought them to this? How is the mother to blame? ...And the list goes on. 'Blood Brothers' is a fantastically well written play; Willy Russell really knows how to sustain an audience's attention and keep them captivated. This play really involves the audience with the characters due to the effectiveness of Russell's writing and the direction of the play and we find it very easy to empathise with the emotions experienced by the characters, which makes us care about what happens to them. Russell and 'Blood Brothers' are highly successful at building up dramatic tension and the ending is both shocking and thought provoking. 1. Tom Savage ...read more.

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