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Blood Brothers

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Willy Russell, the writer of many plays, such as, "Blind Scouse", "King of the Castle", "Lies", "Educating Rita" and the very famous, "Blood Brothers", was born in Whiston in 1947. The opening of "Blood Brothers" was performed at a London theatre in 1983. "Blood Brothers" was written as a play, but in 1988, Bill Kenwright opened a musical version of the original play, to perform on the West End. He added fun and moving songs, such as "Tell me it's not true", "Marilyn Monroe", "That Guy" plus many more. "Blood Brothers" has been around for about 24 years now and it is still going strong and is very popular. At the time that "Blood Brothers" was written, Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister and at these times there was a lot of class division. The reason for this was direct taxes, that people were paying, were cut and therefore indirect taxes were raised. This resulted in a high unemployment of over three million people. This idea of class divisions is well portrayed in the musical. "Blood Brothers" was set in Liverpool on a council estate and also on an upper-class housing estate. The narrative of the play is about a set of twins, named Mickey and Edward, who have been separated at birth due to the fact that their birth mother, Mrs Johnstone, couldn't afford to keep them both. She was a cleaner for an upper class family and as a result of finding out that her "boss" couldn't have children, she agreed to give her one of her twins at birth. ...read more.


As the scene goes on, another theme is introduced. Class divisions. Russell gets across the idea of class divisions by setting his characters in a particular place. Also when Mickey, Linda and Edward are shooting at a target, Edward is told to say certain "things" to a policeman. The way in which the policeman treats Mr Lyons is the total opposite to how he treats Mrs Johnstone. When he enters the Lyons house, things such as, "it was more of a prank really," and "Make sure you keep him with his own kind," are said, showing that the two classes, both upper and working, are seen as entirely different people, almost as if they live in two completely separate worlds. We see the policeman saying to Mrs Johnstone, "you don't wanna end up in court again, do y'?" and "well, there'll be no more bloody warnings from now on," creating the effect that you should almost expect people from the working classes to behave in a specific way. It is also showing that the Johnstone's are often involved with the police. When writing this play, Russell quoted, "The story sounds asif it is a Greek myth but there is no existing story, as far as I know, about twins secretly parted who end up killed on the day they learn the truth about themselves. It feels asif it is a story that has always existed and that is what I wanted to create." ...read more.


He would be pacing up and down the stage to create the effect that he can see you no matter where you are. The lighting would be dark and eerie, with one constant spotlight; following the Narrator to show he is important and superior. The backdrop would consist of a bridge and the City of Liverpool, showing the audience exactly where the play is set. My Narrator would be in a shirt and bow tie with a long, black, cloak-like coat, to resemble and evil devil, with jet-black trousers, and smart black shoes. He would look smart and nicely finished. When the atmosphere and dialogue is a lot calmer, the bow tie would hang loose and undone and the jacket would be situated on his arm or flung over his shoulder, to create a fun, more lively feel. He would be stood on certain stage blacks to show his different status levels throughout various scenes in the play. This particular play can be seen and read in many different ways. People may refer it to superstition, luck and misfortune or to the fact that if you have ever done something wrong in your life, you will suffer the consequences. There are so many ways to look at this play, but I see it as a very meaningful, heart-warming story. From the way in which the characters are placed, the class divisions are shown, a love story is seen, violence is portrayed and also how divisions and discrimination can effect our lives. From the very beginning, to the very end! ...read more.

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