Blood Brothers Celebrates 10th BirthdayDate: 28 July 1998
Willy Russell's award-winning Liverpudlian musical Blood Brothers celebrates its 10th birthday on the West End today, Tuesday 28 July 1998. The revamped story about two brothers separated at birth whose fates are inevitably and disastrously entwined opened at the Albery Theatre on 28 July 1988 and transferred to its current home at the Phoenix Theatre on 21 November 1991.
This successful version of Blood Brothers is actually the musical's second incarnation. The original production opened at the West End's Lyric Theatre in 1985 but failed to make a success. Producer Bill Kenwright picked up the rights to the show in 1987 and a revamped Blood Brothers returned the following year. It was 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 of Blood Brothers received seven Tony nominations and stayed for nearly seven years. It also toured across America and has been seen all over the world.
In keeping up the tradition of celebrated pop stars playing the lead as the twins' mother 'Mrs Johnstone', the role is currently played by Lyn Paul, formerly of The New Seekers, whose 'I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing' was top of the charts. Paul follows in the footsteps of Barbara Dickson, Kiki Dee, Petula Clark, Carole King and Helen Reddy in this role.
Other cast members include Keith Burns (as the 'Narrator'), Andy Snowden ('Mickey') and Mark Hutchinson ('Eddie'). Blood Brothers is directed by Bob Tomson and designed by Marty Flood. The book, music and lyrics are by Willy Russell for which he received the Olivier, Plays and Players, Ivor Novello and Drama Magazine Awards.