NOW in its 30th year and showing no sign of waning, Blood Brothers arrives at the Playhouse this week with the same powerful impact that has continued to make it one of theatre’s most enduring musicals.
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Playhouse, Greenside Place
In 1960s Liverpool, Willy Russell’s tear-jerking tale of two brothers separated at birth, follows single mother Mrs Johnstone (Lyn Paul) as she juggles life on the poverty line, struggling to make ends meet for her family.
It’s a time when humour and heartache go hand in hand but the imminent arrival of additional twin boys is seen as an opportunity by her childless employer Mrs Lyons (Paula Tappenden).
The two women enter into a secret pact and the newborn Johnstone twins are destined to spend life at opposite ends of the social divide.
Paul, who is in excellent voice throughout, is no stranger to her iconic role and draws wisely on her experience to deliver a fine performance, complemented perfectly by Tappenden’s nicely judged portrayal of the haunted Mrs Lyons.
Another production stalwart is Sean Jones whose accomplished interpretation of Mickey is a delight and together with debutant Joel Benedict as well-to-do twin brother Eddie, they form a solid pairing.
There is strong support from the ensemble with Kristofer Harding in top vocal form as the Narrator as is Danielle Corlass as lovable playground pal Linda.
Bob Tomson and Bill Kenwright’s direction makes for a slick well honed production.