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Blood Brothers: A Musical

Blood Brothers: A Musical
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Willy Russell
Publisher: Samuel French
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 76
Pub. Date: 1985
ISBN-10: 057308064X
ISBN-13: 9780573080647
Cast Size: 3 women, 5 men, plus small chorus

About the Play:

Blood Brothers is a full-length musical drama by Willy Russell, based loosely on the 1844 novella The Corsican Brothers by Alexandre Dumas. Twin English brothers are separated at birth, with one raised in wealth and the other in poverty. How will their different upbringings affect their adult lives? They grow to be friends and then bitter enemies without knowing their blood connection. A Liverpudlian West Side Story, Blood Brothers is one of the longest-running and most successful ever West End musicals.

Blood Brothers is a haunting rags to riches story of twin brothers separated at birth because their mother cannot afford to keep them both. 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 gives one of her new born twins to the childless woman she cleans for, the wealthy Mrs Lyons. The boys grow up a few blocks apart, Mickey Johnson in a crowded tenement house while Eddie Lyons enjoys posh surroundings, not knowing that they are in fact brothers but becoming firm friends. When Mickey ends up in trouble with the law, Eddie finds out about a short-lived affair with Mickey's girlfriend Linda, and it sets off a chain of events that changes the lives of both families.

Blood Brothers started as a play, performed at a Liverpool comprehensive school in 1981 before premiering in 1983 at The Liverpool Playhouse, 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. The play is regularly performed in regional repertory, high school, college, and community theatre productions.

Cast: 3 women, 5 men, plus small chorus

What people say:

"One of the best musicals ever written." — Sunday Times

"The most exciting thing to have happened to the English musical theatre for years." — Punch

"A full bodied musical, a wonderful melodrama that is also a thoroughly modern ballad opera." — Wall Street Journal

"There are so many good things to shout and sing about in this new musical." — Daily Mail

"Deeply moving." — London Broadcasting

"Totally beguiling." — City Limits

"A masterpiece – if you haven't seen it, go. If you have, go again." — News of the World

About the Playwright:

Willy Russell is one of the most successful English playwrights of his generation. He is best known for Blood Brothers, Educating Rita, and Shirley Valentine. One of the longest-running musicals in London's West End, Blood Brothers won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Musical in 1983. Educating Rita and Shirley Valentine were both awarded the Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Comedy, in 1980 and 1988 respectively. Both plays were made into successful films and are in constant production throughout the world.

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