2017 marks 30 years since Bill Kenwright’s production of the international smash hit musical Blood Brothers first toured the UK. In celebration, the iconic musical will visit theatres across the country next year, opening on Tuesday 17 January at the New Victoria Theatre in Woking.
Hailed as one of the best musicals of all time, Blood Brothers, written by award-winning playwright Willy Russell has triumphed across the globe. Scooping up no fewer than four awards for best musical in London and seven Tony Award nominations on Broadway, Blood Brothers is simply unmissable and unbeatable.
This epic tale of Liverpool life started as a play, performed at a Liverpool comprehensive school in 1981 before opening at the Liverpool Empire in 1983, completing sell out seasons in the US, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Japan. Blood Brothers also ran in London’s West End for 24 years, exceeding 10,000 performances, one of only three musicals ever to achieve that milestone.
No stranger to Blood Brothers, ‘The definitive Mrs Johnstone’ (Manchester Evening News) Lyn Paul returns to the iconic role, one she first played in 1997. Lyn played Mrs Johnstone in the final West End performances at the Phoenix Theatre in 2012. She has also starred in the UK tour of Cabaret in 2013 as Fraulein Schneider, in Boy George’s musical Taboo and in Footloose – the Musical.
Lyn rose to fame in the early 1970s as a member of the New Seekers. She was the featured vocalist on their 1972 Eurovision Song Contest entry, ‘Beg, Steal or Borrow’, in which they came second and lead vocalist on the 1974 number-one hit ‘You Won’t Find Another Fool Like Me’. Among the group’s other works, they recorded the song ‘I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing’, adapted from an advertising jingle for Coca-Cola, which sold over 20 million copies and still remains one of the 100 best-selling singles in the UK.
The cast for Blood Brothers includes Sarah Jane Buckley, Dean Chisnall, Mark Hutchinson, Sean Jones, Adam Search, Danielle Corlass, Tim Churchill, Graham Martin, Laura Harrison, Alison Crawford, Graeme Kinniburgh, Henry Regan and Josh Capper.
Blood Brothers tells the captivating and moving story of twin boys separated at birth, only to be reunited by a twist of fate and a mother’s haunting secret. The memorable score includes A Bright New Day, Marilyn Monroe and the emotionally charged hit Tell Me It’s Not True.
When Mrs Johnstone, a young mother, is deserted by her husband and left to her own devices to provide for seven hungry children she takes a job as a housekeeper in order to make ends meet.
It is not long before her brittle world crashes around her when she discovers herself to be pregnant yet again – this time with twins! In a moment of weakness and desperation, she enters a secret pact with her employer which leads inexorably to the show’s shattering climax. A sensational cast, incredible show stopping music, remarkable staging and five star performances make Blood Brothers an enthralling night of entertainment.
Willy Russell is undeniably one of this country’s leading contemporary dramatists. His countless credits include Educating Rita and Shirley Valentine. Educating Rita, originally commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company, enjoyed a two year run in the West End and was made into a movie starring Michael Caine and Julie Walters. Shirley Valentine also made the move from stage to screen in an enormously popular film starring Pauline Collins and Tom Conti.
Love Blood Brothers? Download my charity single that was released in November, raising money for the National Autistic Society to help stage more Relaxed Performances of theatre shows. Kieran Brown sings his comedic rewrite of Tell Me It’s Not True called “No Awards For You”.
BLOOD BROTHERS – 2017 TOUR DATES
Tuesday 17 – Saturday 21 January
Box Office: 0844 871 7645
Woking, New Victoria Theatre
***Monday 23 January – Saturday 4 February
Box Office: 0114 249 6000
Sheffield Theatres, Lyceum Theatre
Monday 6 – Saturday 11 February
Box Office: 01202 280000
Monday 13 – Saturday 18 February
Box Office: 0844 871 3021
Monday 20 – Saturday 26 February
Box Office: 01793 524 481
Swindon, Wyvern Theatre
Monday 27 February – Saturday 4 March
Box Office: 01753 853 888
Windsor, Theatre Royal
Monday 6 – Saturday 11 March
Box Office: 024 7655 3055
Coventry, Belgrade Theatre
Monday 13 – Saturday 18 March
Box Office: 08448 112121
Newcastle, Theatre Royal
Monday 20 – Saturday 25 March
Box Office: 01224 641122
Aberdeen, His Majesty’s Theatre
**Tuesday 28 March – Saturday 8 April
Box Office: 00353 1 677 7999
Dublin, Bord Gáis Energy Theatre
Monday 10 – Saturday 22 April
Box Office: 0844 871 3012
**Mrs Johnstone to be played by Rebecca Storm
*** Brenda to be played by Joanne McShane