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.
Blood Brothers is directed by Bob Tomson and Bill Kenwright with designs by Andy Walmsley. Dan Samson is the original sound designer. Rod Edwards is the musical supervisor and Kelvin Towse is the production musical director.
Voted “MOST POPULAR BRITISH MUSICAL OF ALL TIME” by New York Times readers
“You’ve never seen a musical like Blood Brothers. Every night of the week audiences stand and cheer.
And it returns to Derry this coming week, from Tuesday 31st January until Saturday 4th February.
I was delighted to talk to Rebecca Storm earlier this week about the tour and the long lasting relationship she has had with the show. Rebecca told that it is 39 years since she first played Mrs Johnstone. I was in Newcastle this time in 1984 rehearsing for the role.’ And her passion for the role is as strong as ever.
She tells me this will most likely be her last tour. ‘It’s like the book-end. I imagine this will be my last. It will be hugely emotional.’ And so now I’m going to be emotional watching it knowing such!!
Blood Brothers is not just a job for Rebecca. It’s where she met her husband. ‘I met my husband in Blood Brothers at the Olympia Theatre. I fell in love with Ireland too, and I moved here.’ Rebecca speaks so high of the Irish audience. She tells me, ‘They are magnificent.’ So between love, our very selves, and the country, we can officially say she is now one of us.
I asked Rebecca about the relevance of Blood Brothers in the modern world. Just why is the story still so close to us? She tells me, ‘there’s not as much shame or secrecy about raising a family on your own, but there is a lot of women who can’t have children. You just feel so much empathy for the woman who can’t have children. I learn so much from the show every time I go back to it.’ This show really is at her very heart.
So just why should people come to the show now as it comes to Derry? ‘If you have young people, this is one of the best ways to introduce them to theatre. Sean Jones who plays Mickey is brilliant. You’ll just laugh and care about everyone on the stage. It has so many emotions.’ That sounds like a lot of reasons to come see it.
Rebecca told me about a woman who told her about coming to see the show when she was pregnant with twins. He waters broke at the gunshot. She went on to have twin boys. Now those boys are bringing their children to the show this time. It’s spanning generations and it is creating more stories off stage as well as continually developing the story onstage.
Rebecca Storm is iconic in the role of Mrs Johnstone. Blood Brothers is an iconic musical. It is such a treat to have it return to Derry next week. Don’t miss out on the chance to see the legendary Mrs Johnstone one last time, in the form of Rebecca Storm. You really won’t regret it.
Blood Brothers performs at the Millennium Forum from Tues 31 st Jan to Sat 4 th Feb. Tickets are now available
from the Box Office. Telephone 71 264455 or visit millenniumforum.co.uk for bookings.