REVIEW: Blood Brothers @ The Palace Theatre, Manchester

Blood Brothers - group shot

The show has Kenwright written all over it, literally – with his beloved Everton football club emblazoned on the set.

And who can begrudge him that in a show which bristles with energy, fun and tragedy, exploring the concept of nature versus nurture?

Penned by Merseyside playwright, Willy Russell, the story centres around twins separated at birth but drawn together throughout their lives by fate, with tragic conclusions.

Blood Brothers - Lyn Paul as Mrs Johnstone (previous cast production)Lyn Paul, who some may remember from the 1970s pop group the New Seekers, gives a powerful performance as the long-suffering working class mum, Mrs Johnstone, forced by circumstances to give up her son to middle class employer, Mrs Lyons, desperate for a child .

The promise that Mrs Johnstone can see her son every day is quickly broken, but the two boys lives are intertwined bringing together two very different worlds.

Sean Jones is particularly excellent as Mickey. We watch his progress with class division there for all to see from encounters with police in his youth to the harsh realities of adulthod. While his brother Eddie goes to university and ends up with a position on the council’s housing committee Mickey is thrown onto the scrapheap.

There are certainly tear-jerking moments but this is a show which is full of energy. The songs are a bit corny and there is no shortage of clichés in the dialogue but this show is more than the sum of its parts. It is well worth a visit.

Runs till May 26th

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