Writer: Willy Russell
Director: Bob Thomson
Reviewer: Stephanie Rowe
Blood Brothers is back on Merseyside and while it may not be in its spiritual home of Liverpool, here in St Helens it certainly packs the same emotional weight and gravitas it always has…
Despite a reduction in the usual set due to the capacity of the stage, the cast pull out all the stops bringing Willy Russell’s ever powerful and ever timely story of the struggle for betterment among a devastating Tory recession (sounds familiar doesn’t it?) brutally to life… there is everything a strong musical should have, strong well written characters, powerful and memorable songs and beautifully delivered performances arguably this current formation of the cast proves to be one of the shows strongest cohorts.
Sean Jones has become one of the longest running actors in the lead rôle of Mickey – despite playing the rôle for over a decade, he still manages to make the rôle appear as fresh as the first time he ever delivered the lines. He is energetic and his journey from separated twin, to unemployed factory worker is nothing short of heartbreaking.
Alongside Jones, Joel Benedict makes a perfect foil in the form of the other separated twin Eddie – his ‘silver spoon’ upbringing rubbing brilliantly against Mickey’s working class roots. Kate Jarmin as Mrs Lyons brings a great dynamic to the rôle, making the part completely her own and firmly leaving her mark on the show and indeed the audience. Likewise Maureen Nolan returns to the rôle of Mrs Johnstone – elegant and delicate she continues to grow and blossom in the maternal rôle.
Strong support is given from Kristopher Harding as the dark and mysterious Narrator – his sinister menace never too far away or unnoticed. Danielle Corlass provides excellent comic timing in the rôle of Linda while Daniel Taylor still impresses in the overbearing older brother rôle of Sammy.
Blood Brothers is still one of the strongest pieces of British musical theatre, with a rapturous standing ovation the show feels just at home here in St Helen’s as it does in Liverpool and I can’t wait for it to return home again!
Runs until 22nd November 2014 | Photo : Keith Patterson