An Emotionally Charged Experience of Laughter and Tears.
Niki Colwell Evans (Mrs Johnstone) and Nick Wilkes (Policeman and teacher). Photo Jack Merriman.
Blood Brothers by Willy Russell, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry. Runs until 1 April 2023.
Review by Margaret Mather.
This is one of the best shows I have ever seen. I laughed, and I cried. It takes a special performance to stir such emotion, and this play has it in spades.
It’s a tale of two halves, one being poverty, loss, divorce and deprivation, the other, privilege and money. One mother is left with twins to bring up and no way of managing. The other mother can’t have children, and together they hatch a plan to separate the twins.
Sean Jones (Mickey) and the cast of Blood Brothers. Photo Jack Merriman.
Mrs Johnstone, played by Niki Colwell Evans, was superb. Her singing voice was loud, clear and sweet, her acting, faultless apart from the start of the second half, when the milkman spoke in a funny voice which sent her into a fit of the giggles. The audience loved it. She soon recovered and carried on giving a heart-wrenching performance.
Mrs Lyons, the other mother, played by Paula Tappenden, gave a first-class presentation. Richard Munday, the narrator, played his part seamlessly, if a little sinister. Special mention has to go to Sean Jones, who played Mickey. From playing a seven-year-old to a stroppy teenager, and then a grown man, he was outstanding and totally believable. He had the audience laughing out loud, then reduced to tears at the end. What a performance.
Joe Slight, who played Eddie, Mickey’s twin brother, was also brilliant. Both men delivered their punch lines with precision and professionalism throughout.
Niki Colwell Evans and the cast of Blood Brothers. Photo Jack Merriman.
The rest of the cast played their parts well. One of the best bits (and there were many) was when they all sang and played together as youngsters, Very funny.
This is not the first time I’ve seen this show, and I hope it won’t be my last.
You can find out more at: www.belgrade.co.uk