Blood Brothers the Musical is the masterpiece of Willy Russell. The book, lyrics, music and musical have all been written by Russell allowing the musical to flow from start to finish with the creator’s vision in mind.
Nature versus nurture is the plot of the play that follows Mickey and Eddie, two fraternal twins, through a whirlwind of an adventure.
The first Act starts some time in the 1960s when Mrs. Johnstone, a woman with seven children, is heavily in debt. Just when she thinks that her life couldn’t get any worse, her husband decides to leave her.
Mrs. Johnstone finds out that she is pregnant with twins that she won’t be able to support properly.
Singing quickly follows as she sings about the events that have led to her current circumstances in life. She keeps one of the children who grows up in poverty. She agrees to give the other child to one Mrs. Lyons who is wealthy.
She agrees to the deal and reluctantly gives up one of the twins and tells her family that the other twin had died.
The two twins, aptly separated at birth, had two very different upbringings. One was raised in a wealthy family; the other was raised in a poor family. The lives of the two couldn’t have been any different.
Eddie and Mickey are part of two different social spectrums.
One is in prison and unemployed while the other becomes a counselor. Tragedy quickly follows as the two fall in love with the same woman. The two, who become friends, quickly let the love of a woman rip them apart.
Tragedy strikes as both brothers die during the play.
Russell intended the musical to be a single Act, yet it has been transformed into a two Act performance.
The musical is filled with plot twists and shock as audience members find out the grim truth behind the brother’s lives. The musical first debuted in Liverpool before being shifted to the West End in 1983 during a short run.
The musical won the Best New Musical Award and went on a yearlong tour shortly after. The musical went back to the West End in 1988. The musical spent 24 years in the West End where it was seen in over 10,000 performances.
Blood Brothers would go on to become the third longest musical on the West End.
A cult following has formed making the musical a highly sought production around the world.