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There are many themes used in 'Blood Brothers', the main ones being based on class and superstition

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THE PLAY - IT'S SETTING AND BACKGROUND For those of studying the play at GCSE here is a some information on the text, background of the play, the author (Willy Russell) and it's themes, plot and setting. It's probably not much, but here it is if it's any use.... Setting: The play is set in Liverpool, 1962 and continues for around 20 years. Mrs Johnstone and her family live in a poor part of Liverpool in contrast Mr and Mrs Lyons live a comfortable life in the more comfortable end of town. Willy Russell (The Author): Willy Russell was born just outside Liverpool in Whiston, 1947. After leaving school with one English O-level, he then went on became a ladies hairdresser. In his spare time he would write comical songs but would never sing them in public until one night at his local pub, his friend put him up to sing, and for the first time sang a song he wrote about the 'Kirkby Estate' where he had his audience in 'gales of laughter'. ...read more.


This had a big influence on his work and writing about women, and class, such as Shirley Valentine, Mrs Johnstone and Mrs Lyons and Rita in 'Educating Rita'. Themes and Plot: There are many themes used in 'Blood Brothers', the main ones being based on class and superstition. In the country, class effects how people are able to live their lives and the situations they are in. In 'Blood Brothers' Mrs Johnstone lives in a poor end of Liverpool, struggling to bring up eight children on her own and is forced to give one away to keep the others clothed and fed well enough, whereas Mrs Lyons, whom she works for, lives in a lrge house, very comfortably in a nice part of Liverpool, she wants children but is unable to have any, even though she is rich, unlike Mrs Johnstone. Love is a theme, shown by the two women who love their sons but show it in completly different ways. ...read more.


Mickey also becomes to feeling guilt because he is so depressed he cannot support himself or his family (Linda and their child) and he has to rely on Linda and Mrs Johnstone to actually support him. Background of Blood Brothers: Blood Brothers was first performed infront of students in secondary school in a suberb of Liverpool in 1982. In 1983 it moved to be performed on stage in Liverpool and then to London. Although it was not very successful in London, Bill Kenwright opened a production of the show in 1988 starring Barbara Dixon as Mrs Johnstone. (Soundtrack is available of this production - see merchandise page!) In 1991 the show then moved to the Phoenix Theatre where it still remains today doing an excellent run. In 1993 the show successfully went to Broadway, and in 1995 the first UK Tour started, and is still going (see the tour page for details on casts and venues). ...read more.

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