REVIEW: Blood Brothers @ Darlington Civic Theatre

Darlington Civic Theatre
24th November

This three hour show tells the tale of two brothers, separated at birth, who find themselves being drawn back together in adulthood. As they grow older they begin to gravitate back towards each other, until they eventually become friends. However, the touching story of unconditional and instinctive brotherly love is lost forever by tragedy.

Set in Liverpool in post-war 1960s Britain, it follows the journeys of Edward as they grow up in contrasting worlds, having been separated by their mother who could not afford to keep them both. This forces her to give Edward away to her wealthy boss who is unable to have her own child.

Their lives are so extremely different: Edward lives a privileged life whilst Mickey is raised in poverty, which forces him into a life of crime. The characters are largely defined by the social class they live in.

Mickey’s parents aren’t without their problems. Mr. Johnstone As with all emotionally charged stories there is a strong element of love and betrayal. The character Linda is Mickey

The music, throughout the story evokes strong emotions in the audience as the characters pour out their feelings and sense of desperation in the lyrics. However, whilst this is unquestionably an accomplished and entertaining musical, the lack of a live orchestra is disappointing to those who have come to expect one in a large-scale musical. There is also too much repetition, for example with the song ‘Marilyn Monroe’ played so many times that you find yourself humming it to yourself long after you get home, although some might argue that it is a sign of a successful musical.

On the whole I would strongly recommend Blood Brothers for a fun and entertaining night out. The story is at once emotionally gripping, funny and heart-rending. An influential combination that serves to captivate its audience and leave them wanting more.

Blood Brothers continues at Darlington Civic Theatre until Saturday 29th November

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