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Previewed 21 July 1988, opened 28 July 1988, closed 16 November 1991 at the Albery Theatre in London
Willy Russell's classic musical Blood Brothers is set in Liverpool and is about twins separated at birth but whose paths cross in later life. Contains the haunting song 'Tell Me It's Not True'.
"One of the best British musicals ever... vibrantly and grippingly alive" The Sunday Times
So did y' hear the story of the Johnstone twins? As like each other as two new pins.
PLEASE NOTE: The recommended age for children for this show is 12 years and above.
"A milestone in British musical" The Sunday Express
"A thrillingly original and important piece, altogether bigger and more ambitious than almost any other modern work one can think of. It stands tall and proud... Brings the audience cheering to its feet and roaring its approval" The Daily Mail
"Far from running out of steam. Bob Tomson's production has a full head of steam as it goes into its second decade... Russell is better known as a playwright, and his dialogue - unlike that of several recent musicals - does more than just mark time between songs. The two complement one another: Russell's anatomising of the poverty trap, for example, is impressively economical only because his dialogue shares the burden of its illustration with some uncommonly expressive songs." The Observer
"I have always been faintly puzzled by the intended level of Willy Russell's musical melodrama about twins Liverpool brothers separated as babies whose paths cross in a friendship and finally bloodshed. A plot that no sophisticated audience since 1890 could take seriously is unfolded... presumably serious overtones - poverty, inner city deprivation, economic pressures on morality - are drowned by gallumphing facetiousness, banal pop settings and sheer bathos. These depressing characteristics notwithstanding, the show in back in the West End after a nationwide tour... Bob Tomson directs on Marty Flood's set, and everything is toe-curlingly lovable." The Financial Times (1988)
"In 1983 this ineffably sentimental musical won four awards for being best of brand that year. Here it comes again, book, lyrics and music all by Willy Russell, harping on about Fate and Class, and telling the sob story of the Johnstone twins... The music is on the doleful side, amplified so that all songs sound equally loud. A portentous Narrator prowls the stage and finally identifies the unjustness of Fate with the English class system. I am bound to record that at the final curtain the stalls rose and gave vent to grateful cheers that could still be heard as I fled shuddering to the Underground." The Times (1988)
"A late nineteenth century melodrama has flounced into town, masquerading as a throughly modern musical. Can Willy Russell's Blood Brothers really have been written in the here and now? Are there really people abroad, not to mention London, who can take the lumbering hocus-pocus, with cruel necessity sundering twin brothers at birth, and Destiny striking them down together 25 years later? Well, yes and yes... The lyrics, often mere doggerel, and the music, shades, echoes and recollections of Pink Floyd and Dire Straits on piano, keyboards, synthesiser and guitar, is pleasing in its omnious and atmospheric if rather bland manner. And Easy Terms is a beautiful, ironic lament upon the ugly ways of the materialist, consumer England." The Guardian (1988)
Blood Brothers the Musical was originally seen in London at the Lyric Theatre where it opened 11 April 1983 and closed 22 October 1983. The show was then revived in London previewed from 21 July 1988, opened 28 July 1988, closed 16 November 1991 at the Albery Theatre before transferring to The Phoenix Theatre from 21 November 1991 to 10 November 2012.