Review: Blood Brothers

MOVING STORY: Blood Brothers is at the Alhambra Theatre in Bradford.

The Alhambra, BradfordBlood Brothers is a bit like a timeworn gag, you know what’s coming but you still keep going back for more.

Willy Russell’s masterpiece, honed over more than three decades, has its own fan club of regulars. It tells the moving story of the Johnstone twins separated at birth, each destined to be brought up by a different mother, one as part of the working class the other as a member of the privileged ‘ruling class’. Their lives both unite and destroy them, whilst also driving their mothers to near distraction and despair.

Russell writes about what he knows; class, division, the unfairness of life, and his simple stories are often wrapped in an epic theme.

Blood Brothers is not a musical, more a play with music, but its songs and lyrics seamlessly integrate into the powerful storyline. Lyn Paul is Mrs Johnstone, the cleaner who makes a pact with her boss to give away one of her twins at birth, so that her childless employer can become a mum for the first time. But her decision has dire consequences. Paul has had a love affair with the part for over a decade and it shows. Sean Jones has been playing lovable, foul-mouthed Mickey for ever, and Mark Hutchinson as Eddie, his posh brother and another BB veteran, gives a beautifully contrasting performance.

To November 4.

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