Having wanted to see Blood Brothers for years, the time came when Willy Russell’s show coming to The Ipswich Regent. It tells the captivating and moving tale of twins who, separated at birth, grow up on opposite sides of the tracks, only to meet again with fateful consequences. It has been lovingly christened the ‘Standing Ovation Musical’, and I can completely see why.
Lyn Paul, voted the definitive Mrs Johnstone, was phenomenal throughout. Having first played the role back in 1997, she completely encompasses all that you’d hope from the struggling mother of many, just trying to keep her family happy in a desperate situation. I believed her character and loved her effortless singing – it was captivating! Mathew Craig plays the narrator throughout the production, interacting with the other cast members, and always only a stone’s throw away – ready and waiting in the background to add to the story and keep the audience updated on less wordy scenes. He was, at first, difficult to understand, partly due to the accent, and partly due to possible mic issues, but he added an interesting dimension to the story. His accent and the sound improved greatly in the second half, and he became a favourite character for me.
I loved seeing Sean Jones and Mark Hutchinson play the younger characters – they seemed to completely embrace the feeling of finding a new best friend, and it was a pleasure watching their interactions and connection grow. Even into their teenage years, where they convincingly reflected many years of friendship. Danielle Corlass, although not quite as convincing as a young girl, effortlessly grew into the young woman as Linda. Her heartache and feeling of being torn between Mickey and Eddie was lovingly handled and showed her dedication to the character.
Overall, an enjoyable production, with heart and feels in all the right places. Just remember…don’t leave your shoes on the table!
Running until 5th May
Ticket details can be found at:https://apps.ipswich.gov.uk/en-GB/shows/blood%20brothers/events
Author and Music – Willy Russell
Co-director – Bob Tomson
Co-director – Bill Kenwright