Reviewed by Katy Nettleton
A must-see for all musical theatre lovers!
I think I was in the minority of the audience last night and had no idea (other than reading reviews!) what the Blood Brothers story was about. But this does not hinder my enjoyment. I experienced every emotion on the night!
How the staging was set had me hooked immediately, it made me feel like I was back in my youth, playing Cowboys and Indians in the streets with back-to-back housing. With the added touch of classism, with the “above the river” (posh-end) persona of the high street, with parents seeking to keep “classes of people” separated. It made me feel like I was in the middle of the Liverpudlian road, experiencing the highs and lows of living in an urban area.
I am not sure, as a mother of twins if I was the only one who cried when Mrs Johnstone (played amazingly by Niki Colwell Evans) was torn between making the difficult decision of keeping her family together and struggling to survive or to break it up, and give her children a better chance. The music, songs and words had me in tears; I could feel the pain of the Mum and understood the trauma that she portrayed throughout the play on her decision.
The music, at times, was slightly too loud for the singers; if I am being honest, this did not change my opinion on the show or production or impact my feelings. An actual musical theatre spectacular of solid singing and musical accomplishment had me laughing and crying happy and sad tears. What an emotional roller-coaster of an evening!
The Narrator (Richard Munday) was exceptional, with a strong voice that sent shivers down my spine. His voice was impeccable, with deep tones and an accent that was genuinely captivating and held the story and scenes together.
The scenes were brilliant, and you felt depth to the stage, with the actors being easily seen from all areas of the auditorium. You truly felt like you were sitting in the streets and countryside.
The strength of the whole cast cannot be diminished, with solid storytelling and singing from Mickey (played by Sean Jones), Eddie (Jay Worley), Mrs Lyons (Paula Tappenden) and My Lyons (Time Churchill).
At times, it did feel that Eddie and Mickey had used my son as their muse! The way they “play acted” and embodied his mannerism and their ability to use imagination and skip, hop and jump around the streets. It did make me chuckle to myself!
I was lucky to be sat next to a “teacher” who has read the text numerous times, and she said that it was the best adaptation that she had seen and that the script fully reflects the story and would be a fantastic show to support the students to understand the story further.
Honestly, I was honoured to have been able to watch such a professional, passionate, and inspiring production. The voices, the songs, and the music was a show of perfection and was suited for the West End!
Rating: Overall, I would give this a 5 out of 5!
The show is on from Tuesday 27th September 2022 until Saturday 1st October 2022
Tickets cost from £13.00 (subject to a transaction fee of £3.80) and can be booked by visiting Blood Brothers Tickets | Regent Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent in Stoke-on-Trent | ATG Tickets or phone 0333 009 6690
Piccadilly, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, ST1 1AP