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Blood Brothers Evaluation

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Introduction

Blood Brothers Evaluation On 3rd March I went to the Phoenix Theatre in West End to watch a production of one of Willy Russell's greatest plays, Blood Brothers. "Blood Brothers" is set in Liverpool in the early eighties. The play follows the life of two main characters: Eddie Lyons and Mickey Johnstone, who are twins split at birth. In Blood Brothers the characters fall into two stereotypical groups: the working class and the upper-middle class. The reason the play focuses on the difference in class is that the play was written in the reign of Margaret Thatcher who told the people of Great Britain to look after themselves, and that there is no such thing as a society. Willy Russell was against this way of thinking and wrote plays opposing it. Mrs. Johnstone is a typical working class woman who lives on her own and spends more money than she earns. Mrs. Lyons is a typical upper-middle class woman, married and doesn't want her possessions being contaminated by the filth of the world, the working class. Mickey, the twin that was kept by Mrs. Johnstone, is an archetypical lower class boy, dirty ripped clothes and a mouth like a sewer. Edward however is a stereotypical upper-middle class boy, smart, clean uniform that uses correct English grammar. These are the four main characters, although there is one more character that plays a significant role in the musical, the narrator. ...read more.

Middle

Usually either Mrs. Johnstone or the narrator sings about the past. The reason for this is because they are the two characters that know what happens in the play, more so the narrator who can clearly be seen to be looking back at the tragedy. Humor plays a large part in Blood Brothers. It keeps the audience interested and balances out the sadness and tragedy in the play. Throughout the play we experience different types of humor. One way is the use puns. One example is when Mickey and Eddie are discussing Sammy's head. Mickey tells Edward about Sammy having a metal plate put in his head when he had an accident. Edward says: "A side plate?" and Mickey replies: "No, it's on top." This pun leads to misunderstanding due the boy's innocence, and the way they are unaware to the double meaning makes the conversation entertaining. We experience incongruity when Edward and Mrs. Lyons argue and Eddie says:" You're a fuckoff!" He has picked up this saying from his new friends and it sounds out of place with his upbringing and posh accent, which is what makes the audience laugh. There is an example of visual humor when the children are playing with another group. They are impersonating various people and Sammy pretends to be spitting in Mickey's eye. Mickey and his friend Linda use a dustbin as a shield which is humorous because Linda is in front of Mickey - one would expect Linda to be protected by Mickey. ...read more.

Conclusion

The play uses all stage props thoroughly. The ground was designed in a way so that whether the scene was set outside or inside, the flooring still fitted the scene. The flooring was a mix of reds and browns which fitted with either the outside pavement or inside tiling. It was also a very good technique to have the actors bring on and off the set. This made it easier to follow along with. It also added tension because there were no lighting changes; there were no blackouts while the scene changed. Lighting was also another aspect that added tension. The scene where Ms Lyons was going crazy worked well with the lighting because the lights were flashing alongside the projection of the tree on the floor. At the tensest moments the lights dimmed and a spotlight was put on the narrator to add dramatic tension. The actors worked very well, the fact that adult actors played children characters was barely noticeable. This is probably due to the costumes that the actors wore. The actors that played the two boys I feel were especially good because not only did they have to look different ages throughout the play but they acted the ages as well. I feel this musical as a whole was excellent, there was very good uses of the dramatic techniques and staging techniques used by the Phoenix theatre. Overall I enjoyed the play and would recommend it to people that enjoy plays where they don't have to follow on every detail in order to understand it. The way the narrator ties everything together makes the story line make sense. Sarah Allen ...read more.

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