Two musicals have extended their booking periods into 2007; Blood Brothers, Willy Russell's Liverpool-set musical about twin brothers separated at birth, and Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’ Mary Poppins.

Blood Brothers has extended its run at the Phoenix Theatre by over nine months. The show was previously booking to 6 March 2006, and is now taking bookings to 27 January 2007. This production first opened on 27 August 1988 at the Albery Theatre before transferring to its current home at the Phoenix in November 1991.

Maureen Nolan currently stars as the twins' tragic mother, Mrs Johnstone, a role that's previously been played by the likes of Barbara Dickson, Kiki Dee, Petula Clark, Lyn Paul, Siobhan McCarthy and both Linda and Denise Nolan. Blood Brothers is directed by Bob Thomson and Bill Kenwright and designed by Marty Flood.

Meanwhile at the Prince Edward theatre, Mary Poppins is now taking bookings to 28 April 2007. It was previously booking to 29 October 2006.

The musical, which opened at the Prince Edward Theatre on 15 December 2004 (following previews from 6 December), currently stars Scarlett Strallen as the eponymous nanny, Gavin Lee as Bert, Aden Gillett as George Banks, and Eliza Lumley as Winifred Banks.

Based on the children’s stories by PL Travers and co-directed by Richard Eyre and Matthew Bourne, Mary Poppins has a book by Julian Fellows and new music and lyrics by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe, in addition to many of the Sherman brothers’ original film songs. The production is choreographed by Bourne and Stephen Mear and designed by Bob Crowley.

- by Caroline Ansdell