Bill Kenwright Present’s: Willy Russell’s Blood Brothers at New Theatre, Cardiff – A Review by Melissa Compton.



Bill Kenwright brings another sensational show to the New Theatre: as the brilliant Willy Russell’s Blood Brothers lands with a bang, well a few loud bangs in fact.

Gun blast that make you jump back in your seat, melodic voices that gain strength and emotion when they combine to form harmonies that could rival any power ballad. Yes, these combined with brilliant characterization and acting form the key elements that make the show a pure delight to watch.

As the screen streaked with red lifted on the New Theatre stage this evening, The orchestra led by Matt Malone began to play to a packed out theatre, The acting was of the highest standard by all cast members as the audience became immersed in the story with each musical number from Marilyn Monroe to Bright New Day, and that was just Act One. Lyn Paul’s voice is a powerhouse of emotion. Lyn Paul is currently fulfilling her final tour as Mrs Johnstone.

Blood Brothers follows the story of Mickey and Eddie: the twins separated at birth after their mother Mrs Johnstone makes a pact with her employer Mrs Lyons to give one of them away. Mrs Johnstone is more coerced into the pact and fulfilling it, this deepens our sympathy for her. One of the best things about the show is how all the characters are so relatable and loveable. Try as they might Mrs Johnstone and Mrs Lyons can’t keep the two boys apart, Mickey and Eddie soon become friends and things take a sinister turn.

Blood Brothers is one of the most beloved musicals to grace the stage, initially wrote as a play in the ‘Everyman theatre’ style of its era.  In Everyman Theatre in Liverpool, where Willy Russell previously worked: they commonly used music in their shows. The show has then been developed over the years it’s been over 32 years since the original toured with Bill Kenwright obtaining it in 1986. One of the secrets of the show’s success is its ability to move the crowd. The audience in the New Theatre were treated to a rollercoaster of emotion which left the audience roaring in laughter, cooing, jumping back in their seats and finally to the standing ovation, this legendary musical is famous for standing ovations and the audience at the New Theatre did not disappoint taking mere moments after the final act to raise to give a standing ovation which only stopped when all the cast members had left the stage, completely well earned as the performance was flawless, full of moving emotion and brilliantly delivered by all involved.

Bill Kenwright Presents: Willy Russell’s Blood Brothers is at New Theatre, Cardiff until 28 September.