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Willy Russell's Blood Brothers - The Grand Theatre Leeds.

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Introduction

Willy Russell's Blood Brothers. The Grand Theatre Leeds The set design for Blood Brothers was very effective and set the scene really well at the beginning of the performance. The props which were on stage at the beginning were; props designed to look like houses, these were particularly effective because they were realistic in the way that they were quite old and looked like they were old dishevelled council houses. They portrayed the image of the rough area that was 1960's Liverpool. There were two rows of houses of about three and these were both situated at an angle on the far side of stage left and stage right. As the backdrop of the design a city style painting was used and in front of this was a bridge. Through the railings on the bridge you could seethe city backdrop. The set design was very detailed, the houses looked extremely real and the bridge, covered in graffiti really looked as though it was from Liverpool in the 1960's. The set design for the Lyons house was very effective because it was fairly simple (often only had the table as the piece of furniture) and this helped it look like the large house it was by creating space. When Eddie, Mickey and Linda are seventeen they go into town, the setting for the town is changed by putting a lamp post on set. This is effective and makes the set look like a town area. The lighting used throughout the play was amazingly effective, lighting brought emotion to the scenes which, without the lighting there, would not have been so moving. Fairy lights were used at the beginning on the top of the city backdrop these created a city atmosphere as they looked like lots of lights from the houses that you would see from the view. From this lighting and backdrop you got the feel that it was a very busy area and nothing like the countryside. ...read more.

Middle

When Linda and Mickey's relationship is at its weakest Linda wears fairly miserable clothes compared to her old, flirtatious, bright colours, she wears dull colours e.g. a brown jumper. The first scene when Mickey and Linda are together is when all of the children are on scene and Mickey says the 'f word'. All of the children are shouting at him saying that he will go to hell. Linda chooses to stick up for him above all of the rest of them. Linda has great confidence here, even though she is only 7 she sticks her chest right out and puts her arms out to protect Mickey when he is being picked on by his brother Sammy. Mickey doesn't have an issue about a girl sticking up for him which, because his acting skills are good here, portrays their age really well. Mickey uses his voice skills to convey his age well. Mickey-actor Sean Jones - is actually from North Wales so his accent is totally different, he has to learn the Liverpool accent, he talks in a much higher voice to sound like Mickey does and has to talk with more versatile tones than he would normally. Seven year old tend to make their voices higher and lower to make everything they say have more impact on the listener and be exaggerated. Children often talk faster than adults do and without as many pauses for breaths, Mickey carried this off well and he used these skills very effectively to make you believe he was 7, not an actor pretending to be someone who is 7.Mickey has a lot of respect for his brother Sammy and idolises him. He copies a lot of the actions his brother does. He tries to stand with his feet wide apart and sit in his hips to make him look relaxed like Sammy however it is clear that he is trying to copy Sammy as whenever he copies his characteristics he looks round to see if anyone is noticing him! ...read more.

Conclusion

When Linda was shouting at Mickey the tension felt was so intense because their body language was so private to themselves. This scene was the most emotional moment in the play for me because everything had gone wrong. You could see the frustration in Linda's face, she was frowning as she was shouting, she loved him and she had to watch her husband making a mess of his life because of the drugs. The voice skills the actor used here were brilliant; he talked in a monotone voice rather than Mickey's usual exciting voice. He also twitched which Mickey never did before; this showed what the drugs had done to him. All of the facial expressions and vocal skills were very subtle yet effective. The relationships between Linda and Mickey changed throughout the play; at the beginning they were extremely relaxed, fun, carefree, and full of life. AS teenagers they came to have more issues on their mind e.g. school life, one another, but they still kept the fun, and liveliness they'd had as a child. As young adults they had been forced to grow up as quickly as they did because they had to get married because Linda was pregnant. Because they had been forced to grow up like they did, they were face with more problems. Mickey's facial expressions throughout the play were the key to the audience believing whatever age he was, as a child they were much more impulsive and cheeky, as an a teenager he often looked embarrassed, and as an adult he looked extremely miserable, and stress ridden. Mickey and Linda both played their ages perfectly throughout the play and this were showed through their detailed voice skills, movement, facial expressions, and characteristics which ran through each scene. Willy Russell wrote this musical in a very witty and intelligent way. I noticed that in the beginning of the play there was a lot of humour, especially in the scenes between Linda Eddie and Mickey. The humour was used in ways which would show Eddie's up bringing to be very different to Linda and Mickey's. ...read more.

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