The big hitter
The big hitter
I read Blood Brothers at school. I’m pretty sure we did an exam on it. I’ve seen the musical and have the sound track on my computer. It’s a big well known show and probably the first time I’ve been to see a shown where I already had not only a vague idea of what the story was, but that I definitely knew.
They didn’t go for the full on musical, although there was an attempt at Marilyn Monroe. I know it started life as a play, but I think the songs add something extra. I like the story, those that I was with weren’t so keen. It led to some disagreement during the interval and afterwards. Nothing wrong with a bit of healthy disagreement though.
I must say I thought they were brave to take on such a well known play but the bold move paid off in that it really pulled in the crowds. It has been such a shame to see the smaller audiences during the week, I’d almost forgotten what it was like to be in a large crowd sharing the expected. As a newbie to the festival I found it a little strange when Paul the Announcer suddenly appeared on stage as the Narrator/Devil. While he did a very good job moving the play along and delivered all his lines with great strength, I found it hard to move past him giving the nightly welcome speech and the same brown suit he’d worn all week.
Just incase you don’t know, the story follows twin brothers, Micky and Eddie who become friends after being separated at birth. The birth mother, Mrs. Johnstone is a poor, single and superstitious. Due to threats from the welfare she gives one son away to the well off, snobby Mrs. Lyons, her employer. There’s a love interest for both boys in the guise of Linda who brought me my favourite moment for my the play.
Linda had always been the best shooter, beating the boys when they were 8 with their toy airgun. 10 years later they’re 18 and at the fun fair. Micky pays for a go on a game where you have to shoot 3 ducks down. She shoots once, the first duck falls, she shoots again and both remaining ducks fall. Linda is epic. As it turns out from an admission during the feedback, my favourite moment in the whole show was apparently a mistake but I think they need to keep it in of they ever do it again, and the adjudicator agreed with me!
One little niggle, if I am allowed, is that the cast seemed to forget the birth mother’s name is Mrs. Johnstone not Mrs. Johnson. It’s a small point but that ‘st’ sound is important to me. The devil is in the detail after all.
Something I hadn’t appreciated before though was communicated to me in this performance. I had always been under the impression that Mrs. Lyons wasn’t a superstitious woman but that she played on the superstitions of Mrs. Johnstone to stop her accessing her son, telling her if he twins ever met each other and found out they were brothers that they would die. Fair enough… I understand this. What I hadn’t felt before was that it was this very comment that drove Mrs. Lyons into paranoia and depression. She drove herself insane, believing her own lies and that everyone was out to kill her son by revealing the truth. Or maybe that’s not what happened and I’ve missed something else all together. I don’t care, I enjoyed the show and that’s what mattered to me.
One night to go!