10:59am Tuesday 6th March 2012
By John Phillpott
IT’S a vexed question, this seemingly eternal argument that bounces back and forth between ‘nature’ and ‘nurture’.
Light years of agonising have probably been expended by those with definite views on the subject.
Sadly, I’m afraid all this undoubtedly earnest philosophising has probably been a colossal waste of time.
For the ultimate answer to the question probably lies in Willy Russell’s barnstorming study of twins who have been separated at birth, experience opposite poles of the social spectrum… only to be eventually reunited with spectacular consequences.
The only conclusion that matters is that this is a rip-roaring, never-a-dull-moment musical which ticks every single entertainment box.
From the opening note, we’re treated to a fast-paced journey through mean and not-so-mean streets. And Sean Jones and Matthew Collyer as star-crossed brothers Mickey and Eddie have the audience transfixed right from the start.
Blood Brothers has recently celebrated its 28rd year in London, and judging by Bill Kenwright’s stylish production, it’s not hard to see the reason for the show’s perennial appeal.
For this is very much a story of our times and with a soundtrack to match. A score dripping with lyrics includes Bright New Day, Marilyn Monroe and a particularly angst-drenched Tell Me It’s Not True as Maureen Nolan – playing the life-weary Mrs Johnstone – seductively and tragically sirens her way to all our hearts. To be sure, the Nolan Sisters were never like this.
Rough, tough – but above all packed with the unquenchable resilience that is the human spirit – Blood Brothers runs at Malvern Theatres until Saturday, March 17. An absolute masterpiece.
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