March 2023

Wyvern Theatre Blood Brothers

Well listeners. I cried. Just as I’ve cried on each occasion that I’ve seen this show – the first time being decades ago when I saw it with the legendary Barbara Dickson as Mrs Johnstone.

Written by the legend that isWilly Russell, the legend that is Blood Brothers tells a tragic tale of twins separated at birth who grow up on opposite sides of the tracks. But fate brings them together with fateful consequences for them both.

Wyvern Theatre Blood Brothers -
Wyvern Theatre Blood Brothers

And that’s as much about the plot as I’m prepared to say in case you’ve NOT seen it and you’re intending to. And if you weren’t intending to, I urge you to, in Fagin’s words, review the situation.

Book tickets for Blood Brothers here:

The performances are stunning and powerful and its ending will bring you to your feet. DO GO! And take tissues!

Themes and structure

If I’m not talking about the plot what I can talk about is the themes of this play/musical. Timeless themes as it turns out.

Blood Brothers follows the conventions of a tragedy. The first part, with many laughs, builds up to the turning point – but no spoilers. The second half, devoid of laughter, deals with the consequences of that action/that turning point, and builds up to the dramatic denouement of the story.

Its main themes cover social class and inequality, and fate and superstition.

What’s even more tragic than the story, written in the early 80s and set in the 1960s, is that we’re not much further on. Inequality in our country is greater than it’s ever been. The gap between the haves and the have-nots is of Grand Canyon proportions and we have far too many Mickeys and Eddies in society.

If Willy Russell wrote Blood Brothers as a mirror on Thatcher’s Britain it performs the same function today. Conservative Britain in the 21st century is at best no better and at worst – worse – than Britain then. And doesn’t make for a great reflection …

And how tragic is that?!

Book tickets for Blood Brothers here:

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