As the curtain raises, we are met with a back drop of the famous Liverpudlian liver buildings set in a bed of 1960’s roof tops!
People young and old pile into the Lowry Theatre and there is barely a spare seat in the house!
The band kick off with an overture of wonderfully written musical numbers that complement the original book written by Willy Russell.
Narrator Dean Chisnall sets the scene but should be commended most for his voice and powerful rendition of “Shoes upon the table” not once but 6 reprise’s throughout telling the tale
The story embarks on a story of “Nature versus Nurture” about twins, separated at birth one raised by a wealthy family and one by a poor.
Mickey and Eddie meet by fate whilst playing out at aged 7 and when realising they share a birthday decide on a pact that they will remain best buddies and Blood Brothers for life!
Coming from such different backgrounds they embark on teaching each other their opinions on “rights and wrongs”
The first half closes with my personal favourite prologue from Mickey played by West End star Sean Jones “I wish I was our Sammy” involving him gobbling into the audience whilst confirming in his thick Scouse accent that he’s “not 7, he’s nearly 8!”
Mickey and Eddie go by their separate lives until fate brings them back together in their teenage years. Mickey is in a relationship with Linda his childhood sweetheart and so the 3 of them reminisce on old times and good times.
Linda turns to Eddie when Mickey is locked up in prison and a strange love triangle is formed. They both fall in love with the same girl, causing a tear in their friendship and leading to the tragic death of both brothers.
The show ends with not a dry eye in the house but both brothers laying dead on the floor with biological mum Mrs Johnstone Singing “Tell me it’s not true!”
Mrs Johnstone played by Lyn Paul was, for me, the star of the show. Most famously known for being a member of the Grammy Award nominated group “New Seekers” she plays the rough round the edges struggling housewife with a warm exterior and someone every mother can relate to in one way or another.
An emotional and powerful tale delivered by a small but talented cast. Gripping from start to finish and highly recommended.