Paul has previously played Mrs Johnstone - the poor mother who's forced to give up one of her twin sons at birth, with dire consequences later in life - to great acclaim in both the West End and on a UK-wide tour. Since leaving 1970s pop band The New Seekers, she has also had a successful solo career as a recording artist and cabaret singer.
Paul is amongst good company in assuming the role, which has also previously been played by Kiki Dee, Petula Clark, Siobhan McCarthy, Carole King and Helen Reddy.
Though now considered one of the West End's most successful blockbusters, Blood Brothers had a shaky start. In its original incarnation at the Lyric Theatre in 1985, it failed to woo over critics and audiences. Three years later, in July 1988, it opened in this second incarnation at the Albery Theatre (later transferring to the Phoenix).
Blood Brothers became the first West End revival to be nominated for the Best Musical Revival Olivier Award within two years of winning the Original Best Musical production. The Broadway production received seven Tony nominations and ran for nearly three years. The show also toured across America, and has been seen all over the world, in addition to regular UK-wide tours.
The book, music and lyrics are by Willy Russell for which he received Olivier, Plays and Players, Ivor Novello and Drama Magazine Awards. Blood Brothers is produced by Bill Kenwright by arrangement with Bob Swash.
The show runs at the Manchester Opera House from 12 - 24th October.