Brace yourself for Blood Brothers. It’ll take you through the gamut of emotions – and keep you spellbound from start to finish. There are plenty of laughs, yes. But you’ll cry. You’ll definitely cry. And you’ll leave that theatre on an emotional high, evangelically telling everyone you meet that they have to go and see it and get their tickets FAST.
We were totally blown away by this production and cast of the iconic show at The New Theatre, Cardiff, last night .
Telling the story of twin brothers separated at birth, it’s a story portraying class, poverty and hardship, Northern grit, friendship, family, love and tragedy.
Lyn Paul as Mrs Johnstone, the Liverpudlian mum on the breadline who has to make the heart-rending decision to give up one of her babies to a mother who can offer him a ‘better’ life, is outstanding. In a magazine interview, she said of Mrs J “Everything that she’s going through, I feel…” and boy, does it show, She plays the character with exceptional warmth and compassion …her singing voice is unforced sweetness and real tears are shed on that stage. If you don’t blubber during her heart-tugging rendition of ‘Tell Me It’s Not True,’ then you just weren’t listening!
Alexander Patmore and Joel Benedict are fabulous as ‘blood brothers’ Mickey and Eddie.. playing them with comic perfection as children, then with pathos as grown men. They have real chemistry on stage and, despite their differences, we really believe in their friendship. Danielle Corlass plays a perfect loyal Linda and Daniel Taylor is a big presence on stage as the unpredictable Sammy.
Chloe Taylor portrays the emotions of an overjoyed then paranoid and ultimately unravelling Mrs Lyons brilliantly with Tim Churchill ideal as the unaware Mr Lyons. Graham Martin switches effortlessly and with great comic timing from his many roles including policeman and teacher and Robbie Scotcher is a dramatic, looming presence as the narrator. The rest of the cast were all brilliant too.
My sixteen-year-old son who came to the theatre with me at first unsure as to whether he’d enjoy the show was one of the first to jump up from his seat at the end of it with a whoop – and the rest of the crowd’s standing ovation cheers were heartfelt, too .
Not to be too evangelical about it – but if you can go to see this show, then do – it’s on until the 28th September at the New Theatre, Cardiff . More info here: newtheatrecardiff.co.uk