Blood Brothers UK Tour Review - Mayflower Southampton

Tell me it's not true, say it's just a story. At least that's what audiences hope as they watch the opening of Blood Brothers as it took to the Mayflower stage on it's UK tour this week. As blood is shed and lives are lost, you are retold the story of two brothers, one rich, one poor and the fate that tied the two of them together. 

Blood Brothers is one of the most highly acclaimed pieces of British theatre in generations. With an audience full of old, young and a lot of teenagers, you can see why this award winning show is not only a GCSE staple, but also a firm fan favourite. I was invited to see the shoe at the Mayflower Theatre, Southampton on it's leg of the UK tour and I honestly couldn't wait!

Blood Brothers tells the story of Micky and Eddie, two twins that are separated at birth and brought back together through friendship at different points in their life. Through relocations, working, university, school, these twins always found their way back to each other. But with parents forcing them apart and superstitions and secrets that are forged deeper than many, things are never going to end well for this pair. 

Filled with social commentary that seems to still be relevant to this day, Blood Brothers focuses on everything from class difference, to how society views family and future. You can clearly see why this has been used for years as  GCSE text, and I was pleased to see students on the edge of their seat as they watched with their classmates. Enthralled that this play was transported to stage before them. 

Lyn Paul takes to the stage as Mrs Johnstone, the mother of the Johnstone twins and absolutely blew the audience away with her energy, vocals and acting. She gave a truly worthy standing ovation performance and brought most of the audience (including some of those school kids!) to tears with her finale performance. Robbie Scotcher does a brilliant performance as the Narrator. A character that in previous productions has never been my favourite character, in this performance he managed to blend subtlety and power perfectly to create something memorable. 

Alexander Patmore and Joel Benedict put on a thoroughly amazing performance as Micky and Eddie. From playing them as energetic 7 year olds, through the teenage years and into the climatic 20's where their fate is sealed. They did a brilliant job at embodying these characters that many know and hold dear to their hearts, putting in emotion and energy from start til end. Alexander did a brilliant job at transitioning from the cheeky 7 year old to the shy teen, and into the depressed adult. It really showed his diversity as an actor, and Joel did a brilliant job at supporting and contrasting the highs and lows.  

One notable mention that I can't forget is Tim Churchill who played both Mr Lyons and various other smaller roles (including the milkman and gynaecologist). His role brought in so much light relief that was needed in this otherwise emotionally heavy show. A truly brilliant actor that should be incredibly proud of his performance. 

Blood Brothers is one of those musicals that literally takes you on an emotional rollercoaster. As the iconic "Tell Me It's Not True" rang through the theatre, you knew you would be in for a treat and this cast really didn't disappoint. It's a show that will leave you moved, on your feet, and clapping until your hands hurt as you wipe away the tears. A brilliant story that still hits hard decades on. It's one not to be missed!

Blood Brothers is on at the Mayflower in Southampton until 11th September, where it will continue its UK tour. 

*Note: We have been invited by the Mayflower, but all thoughts and opinions are our own. 

No comments