Theatre Review: Blood Brothers Returned to the Rhyl Pavilion
It’s been three years since I last saw Willy Russell’s Blood Brothers at the Rhyl Pavilion and when I heard the show was coming back, I couldn’t resist the chance to the show again.
There are lots of people who have seen the show many times and you can see why, even on my second viewing of the show, I felt like I could watch it all over again.
The musical, written by Willy Russell, has had huge following from over the last 29 years since its first performance at the Liverpool Playhouse, Blood Brothers is the story of twins who were separated at birth and grow up on the opposite side of the tracks and how two people’s lives can be so different even though are only miles apart.
The superb score includes Bright New Day, Marilyn Monroe and the emotionally charged hit Tell Me It’s Not True, this time the show had Matthew Craig as the narrator and I have to say I much prefer Matthew in the role over Marti Pellow who I did have trouble understanding when the show was last at the Rhyl Pavilion, Mrs Johnstone was played by Lyn Paul and although I loved Maureen Nolan‘s performance, I did prefer last night’s performance by Lyn.
Blood Brothers – Still a Joy to Watch
The sets are the same with their wonderful way of moving and changing to give the many locations that take us through the life of the ill-fated Blood Brothers, but the sets still give you that feeling that you’re visiting a town that you haven’t been to in years, they are like old friends.
The cast still stand out with their performances in Blood Brothers, Sean Jones was back as Mickey and I’m not sure if it’s just me, but I feel that the role is perfect for Sean, his comedic talents for playing Mickey as a child still had me laughing loudly, as he pretends to ride is imaginary horse. Then Sean shows his serious side of acting with the adult version of Mickey, through the good times and the bad, a stellar performance that is a must see and a joy to watch.
Mickey’s older brother, Sammy, is played by Daniel Taylor, the last time I saw Daniel he was in the brilliant The Tommy Cooper Show which I found wonderful to watch, although a very different character from Tommy Cooper, Daniel certainly brings across his talent with Sammy, very much like Sean, Daniel plays the young and older Sammy and he plays the character brilliantly, bringing the character to life.
Mark Hutchinson, who plays Eddie Mickey’s Blood Brother, brings the sibling brought up on the other side of the tracks to the stage wonderfully, the complete opposite of Mickey, brought up with a posher upbringing and a life without roughing it like the Johnstone’s. Again Mark also brings some wonderful comedic moment to his performance, which is a joy to watch.
Eddie’s mother, Mrs Lyons played by Sarah Jane Buckley, has her life on a knife-edge from the moment she takes one of the twins and this is portrayed very nicely as she goes through life worrying about the brothers ever finding out they are twins, I really enjoyed Sarah’s performance throughout the evening.
Those of you that read my review of the show back in 2015, when the show when I first saw Blood Brothers, will have seen how much I enjoyed Maureen Nolan’s performance. In 1997 Lyn Paul made her debut in musical theatre in the West End when she took on the lead role of Mrs Johnstone in Blood Brothers and many have said that she is the definitive Mrs Johnstone, I would have to agree, she is wonderful to watch and to listen to, the opening song “Marilyn Monroe” was beautifully performed, as were her performance through the night.
But when it came to the final scene and her performance of “Tell Me It’s Not True”, I could feel the emotions start to build up and then I found tears rolling down my cheeks, not just from her amazing performance of the song, but also from the powerful scene that Lyn and the cast are portraying.
Blood Brothers is an emotional ride, it has its ups and downs, laughs and tears, it’s no wonder that it is so popular with theatregoers and I can honestly say that no matter how many times I could see Blood Brothers, I would always find the same feelings from the show, it’s no wonder that at the end of the performance, the audience took to their feet with a raucous, well deserved, standing ovation.
Whatever you do, don’t miss Blood Brothers at the Rhyl Pavilion, the show is on until the 24th March, tickets available from www.rhylpavilion.co.uk or the Box Office on 01745 33 00 00.