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On October 16th I went with my drama class to see a production of Blood Brothers (written by Willy Russell). It was performed in the Phoenix theatre in London, and we saw a matinee performance.

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By Heather Coutanche On October 16th I went with my drama class to see a production of Blood Brothers (written by Willy Russell). It was performed in the Phoenix theatre in London, and we saw a matinee performance. The play is set in Liverpool in the 1950 - 60's, and is about two families. One woman, Mrs Johnstone, is very poor, lives in a slum and is struggling to bring up Several children by herself. She works for an middle class woman, Mrs Lyons, whose husband is away a lot on business. When Mrs Johnstone finds out she is expecting twins, she knows she won't be able to afford to look after them both. Mrs Lyons, who is unable to conceive, persuades her to give one of the twins to her, and she'd bring him up as her own, with nobody ever knowing apart from the two woman. Mrs Johnstone eventually agrees, but is very upset about the arrangement. Mrs Lyons eventually sacks her for being too involved with the baby and reminds her that she swore the pact on the bible so she can't break it. ...read more.


The lights also reflect the different places the story is set, for example in the scenes in Liverpool, they manage to make the stage look smoky and dark but when the scene changes to the countryside, green and blue gels light up the scenes. Flickering lights also show the cinema, and bright, colourful, flashing ones animate the 'fairground' scene. The most effective use of the lights is in the two scenes that deals with the mental breakdown of the two characters; there are flickering lights to show when Mickey goes 'frantic,' as well as lights that are used cleverly to look like bars when he is in prison, and then when Mrs Lyons goes crazy, flashing lights are used to symbolize lightning, as well as making the outline of a flickering tree. This is the most dramatic use of lighting in the play and it is very effective. There are also a number of sound effects used through the play. The funniest are the Swedish women when the boys go and see 'Nymphomaniac nights and Swedish Au pairs' at the cinema. Sound effects are also used for the guns at the end of the play and for when the children throw stones at the window in the park. ...read more.


If I had directed this I would have seriously considered using children for this part, and then the same actors for their teenage and adult years. Some of the acting was also not as good as the others, in particular the two mothers. This could be because the parts had been swapped around; Louise Russells, who played Mrs Lyons usually plays Donna-Marie (a more minor character) while Sarah Hay (Mrs Johnstone) usually plays Mrs Lyons. Although they generally played their parts to a high standard, some of the scenes between the two weren't very good; the 'shoes on the table' and 'attack in the kitchen' scenes were particularly bad. However I think the worst scene was when Mrs Lyons went mad,, although the special effects were good, the overall impression was very overly dramatic and exaggerated. I definitely preferred the first act to the second, and my favourite scenes were when the three teenagers were hanging out as friends. The play did a good job of evoking emotions in you overall, and the end scene was very sad. I liked the play as a whole, but People who have seen versions performed with a different class have said that it wasn't as good this time around but I liked the play as a whole, and found it enjoyable and entertaining. ...read more.

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