Blood Brothers tells the tale of the down-on-her-luck Mrs Johnstone who is struggling for money so much that she agrees to give one of her twin babies away to her rich employers, the Lyons family. Naming the brothers Mikey and Eddie, Mrs Johnstone reluctantly keeps her promise but is later dismissed from the Lyons household. Despite being raised in separate lives, Eddie and Mickey are reunited once again eight years later. What will this twist of fate mean for the Johnstone and the Lyons families and more importantly, will Eddie and Mickey find out their true identity?
Performed in a Brechtian style, Blood Brothers includes a narrator who lurks around the stage with a foreboding air, reporting the narrative through menacing song. Many famous actors have played this role, including Marti Pellow and Anthony Costa. Recent casting includes Philip Stewart as the Narrator, with Vivienne Carlyle as Mrs Johnstone. Further cast members include Mark Rice Oxley as Mickey and Paul Christopher as Eddie.
With the book, music and lyrics all by Russell, Blood Brothers is directed by Bill Kenwright and Bob Tomson. The scenic design for the show is by Andy Walmsley, with lighting by Nick Richings. Blood Brothers holds three Olivier Awards, including the 1983 award for Best New Musical, with many critics praising Russell’s score. Award-winning songs include ‘Marilyn Monroe’, ‘Bright New Day’, ‘The Devil’s Got Your Number’, and the heart-wrenching ‘Tell Me It’s Not True’.