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'Blood Brothers' Theatre Review.

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'Blood Brothers' Theatre Review On Thursday the second of October 2003 3:00pm my drama group went to the theatre production 'Blood Brothers' at the Phoenix Theatre in Charing Cross Road, London. The theatre appeared to be quite old, like many theatres around Covent Garden its rooms were furnished with red carpets on the floor, glossy serving counters, wooden carved decors and chandeliers in the hallways. The actual auditorium, however, was quite small; the seats were set and had boxes on either side. My group sat in the stalls, which is on the lowest level and I did not have the time to venture up to the other circles. My seat was L 23 and I faced the stage from stage right but the angle didn't come in the way when the play was on. The stage was an end on proscenium arch. Instead of a curtain, when I went in I saw a gauze, through it some dark outlines could be made out I think that the shadowy effect created by the gauze helped emphasize the suspense. The play started with an overture coming from the second floor of the set while the auditorium was still light and noisy, when the lights dimmed a red flood light was lit behind the gauze and the outlines turned out to be stretchers at this point they also lit a gobo onto the gauze. ...read more.


On the second set, however, the wall was wheeled off onto either side, leaving a backdrop and tree cutouts either side of the stage representing the countryside then in the scenes where they went to town, the town backdrop was used again. Near the end of the story, a bridge for the characters to walk over was flown in. it was probably the Runcorn Bridge. When the set was Mrs. Lyons's living room, Mrs. Johnston's kitchen or Mickey's living room, Scenery was flown-in, also with minimal portrayal, letting the audience's imagination develop. In front of the fly-ins were placed furniture, often brought in by the characters or the narrator. There was even a wonderful part at the beginning of the play where the Narrator pulled on a washing line. I thought that this way of setting the scenes and bringing on props, however non-naturalistic, was not only quick and efficient but also very effective. The music, as I mentioned earlier, came from the orchestra set on the second floor of the sets, and thought the music was live, it also came from the big speakers set at the front of the auditorium. The characters almost all had a solo each but the ones who sang most were Mrs. Johnston and the Narrator, because the narration was almost always in songs and Mrs. ...read more.


Also things such as the imaginary horse, the imaginary gun, the cinema and the school bus ride were done to make it look like things were there when they weren't. That is an amazing part in non-realistic theatre. Humour also played a big part in the musical, as it kept the audience interested and balanced out the sadness and conflict in the play. This play made me consider Social Status and Class difference, It seemed a bit ironic how the Johnston's lived on the breadline at the beginning, happy with whatever they managed to get, even being able to eat properly was a luxury to them. On the other hand, I saw the Lyons's, never content with what they had, always wanting what they did not have. The portrayal of their lives and characterizations were so vivid that it shocked me. I know how much most mothers love their own children that I almost felt the physical pain and guilt that Mrs. Johnston portrayed on stage. I also watched how such small things as being given sweets made Mickey happy. This play really made me think of the lives that many people lead in that time and the lives that people are still leading even nowadays. ?? ?? ?? ?? Jessica Smith 10WYT 01/05/2007 1 ...read more.

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