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Through close examination of the Narrators songs and speeches, explore how Willy Russell uses the role of the storyteller in Blood Brothers

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Introduction

Post-1914 Drama English Mrs Coley 'Through close examination of the Narrator's songs and speeches, explore how Willy Russell uses the role of the storyteller in Blood Brothers' Intro. In Blood Brothers, Willy Russell uses the narrator as a constant presence to tell the story of the Johnstone twins. When Russell first dreamt up the play, he envisioned the narrator as old story-teller, like 'a Greek chorus'. Russell wanted the play to sound like 'an old Greek myth'. ...read more.

Middle

For example, in Act Two as Mickey grabs the gun and runs off to confront Eddie, the narrator follows Mrs Johnstone and breaks into song, commenting on Mickey 'running round and round' and indicating that fate was 'callin' up your number today', like an old Greek story-teller. The narrator's first scene is at the very beginning of the play, where he introduces the story with a ballad. He provides us with information about Mickey and Eddie's fate before we have had a chance to meet them, and introduces us to Mrs Johnstone, whom he denounces as a 'mother, so cruel, there's a stone in place of her heart'. ...read more.

Conclusion

Russell uses the narrator's ballad to invite the audience to play a part in the drama and 'judge for yourselves'. As the play progresses, the narrator hovers in the background constantly. In the production, he wore a black suit for the entire performance, similar to something which would be appropriate for a funeral. The narrator does this to constantly remind the audience of the fate of the two boys, and Russell uses him as a ghost of what is to come, casting a shadow over the story. ...read more.

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