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Legendary Blood Brothers at The Belgrade

Blood Brothers, The Belgrade Theatre, 28 March – 1 April.

Preview by Arabella Neville-Rolfe

Bill Kenwright's legendary, award-winning production of the international smash hit musical, Blood Brothers will play at The Belgrade from Tuesday 28 March – Saturday 1 April, with a press night on Tuesday 28 March.

When Mrs Johnstone, a young mother, is deserted by her husband and left to her own devices to provide for seven hungry children she takes a job as a housekeeper in order to make ends meet. It is not long before her brittle world crashes around her when she discovers herself to be pregnant yet again - this time with twins. In a moment of weakness and desperation, she enters a secret pact with her employer which leads inexorably to the show's shattering climax.

Niki Colwell Evans and Sean Jones will star in the iconic roles of Mrs Johnstone and Mickey Johnstone. The full company includes: Richard Munday (Narrator), Joe Sleight (Eddie), Paula Tappenden (Mrs Lyons), Olivia Sloyan (Linda), Timothy Lucas (Sammy), Tim Churchill (Mr Lyons), Nick Wilkes (Policeman/Teacher), Gemma Brodrick (Donna Marie/Miss Jones), Connor Bannister (Perkins), Josh Capper (Neighbour), Amy Murphy (Brenda) and Jacob Yolland (Bus Conductor).

Photo by Jack Merriman

Written by award-winning playwright Willy Russell, few musicals have been received with such acclaim as the multi-award-winning Blood Brothers. Considered 'one of the best musicals ever written' (Sunday Times), Bill Kenwright’s production surpassed 10,000 performances in London’s West End, one of only three musicals ever to achieve that milestone. It has been affectionately christened the ‘Standing Ovation Musical’, as inevitably it “brings the audience cheering to its feet and roaring its approval” (Daily Mail).

This epic tale of Liverpool life started as a play, performed at a Liverpool comprehensive school in 1981, before opening in its first version of the musical at the Liverpool Playhouse in 1983. The musical has since triumphed across the globe, completing sell out seasons in the US, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Japan, and scooping up four awards for Best Musical in London and seven Tony Award nominations on Broadway.

The superb score includes A Bright New Day, Marilyn Monroe and the emotionally charged hit Tell Me It's Not True.

Blood Brothers tells the captivating and moving tale of twins separated at birth, who grow up on the opposite sides of the tracks, only to meet again with tragic consequences.

Willy Russell is undeniably one of this country's leading contemporary dramatists. His countless credits include Educating Rita and Shirley Valentine. Educating Rita, originally commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company, enjoyed a two-year run in the West End and was made into a movie starring Michael Caine and Julie Walters. Shirley Valentine also made the move from stage to screen in an enormously popular film starring Pauline Collins and Tom Conti.


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