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In Blood Brothers what techniques does Willy Russell use to attract and maintain audience interest?

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Introduction

In Blood Brothers what techniques does Willy Russell use to attract and maintain audience interest? The play dates back to the early 1980's where the original production by Willy Russell was written as a school play and presented in 1981. The play is not a musical as some may think yet in Russell's own words, 'a play with music.' The play is set up differently compared to many 'normal' plays as it is divided into just two acts and the play starts with the ending at the beginning giving it an unusual and uncanny feel. The play involves two women, one who has many children, Mrs Johnson and the other who is struggling to even get pregnant, Mrs Lyons. When Mrs Johnson takes up a cleaning job for Mrs Lyons, Mrs Johnson finds out she is pregnant and Mrs Lyons insists that she is to sell one of the twins to her - and no one would ever know; unbeknown to them everything would go wrong. When it comes to think about how Russell maintains audience interest the first major and somewhat bewildering part of the play is the songs as they show a lot of emotion and ...read more.

Middle

This helps the audience to relate to Mickey if they come from that sort of background and will maintain their interest in Mickey as a character throughout the play. However, Edward is better spoken in this quote, "That I've got halitosis." Because Edward can use, understand and worry that Mickey might care about his bad breath relates to his class, as you would expect higher class to fret about their appearance thus the higher class members of the audience have a character to relate to as well. This again helps maintain interest. Audience interest is important and Russel it seems has made this his main priority. In this play he has played on serious issues that would of affected many different people and at the time people who had experienced these kinds of things would have been able to associate with these parts in the play. So it makes sense that if the audience feels sympathy or even hatred for a member of the play, this is where social and historical context becomes engaging as the play really does relate to what was happening at the time and this is what makes it more impressive. ...read more.

Conclusion

From the constant appearance of the narrator with his haunting songs and the superstition that fills peoples minds with many answers to the mysteries that are put across. The structure of the play also helps the maintenance of audience interest with only two acts, there is limited time to change the scenery but it is done cleverly and in sections while the narrator watches over. There are also a few running themes throughout the play that links back to certain sections at given times to ensure that the audience are always thinking about what's happening and why. If we see the narrator as the devil we can understand why he is present all the time around Mrs Johnston and Lyons - selling a baby was a bad thing and Mrs Lyons shouldn't have forced her to do it. So the devil is on their conscience showing the inevitable consequences; which result in both brothers dieing. In conclusion, the play is combined with appealing and motivating circumstances that keep the audience with the play the whole way through; the story is still appealing but without the inclusion of superstition, class and other things it would not have been so interesting. ...read more.

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