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Blood Brothers (Southampton - tour)

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
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Blood Brothers at The Mayflower Southampton is directed by Bob Tomson and Bill Kenwright.

A powerful narrative, spoken by Marti Pellow tells the moving and captivating story of twin boys, separated at birth, only to be re-united by a twist of fate in later life.... with tragic consequences. This stunning show begins with the ending and ends with the beginning - and the audience are hooked in from the start, by the quirky and dramatic curtain raiser.

Mrs Johnstone is a single mum, struggling to bring up her extended family in an impoverished Liverpool back street, made pregnant again and abandoned by her good for nothing husband. The impending birth spells disaster for Mrs J and her family when it becomes known that she is expecting twins. She cannot afford to look after all the kids she already has, let alone having two more mouths to feed. Childless employer Mrs Lyons hatches a plan, and persuades Mrs J to secretly give one of the children to her, and that she will bring the child up as her own. Exploiting deep held superstitions Mrs L convinces the expectant mother that she can never tell of their deception or both twins will die. Thus, a sequence of events begins that, years later, when the twins inevitably meet, leads to tragedy.

Mrs Johnstone is fabulously portrayed by Niki Evans, who’s faultless rendition of ‘Marilyn Munroe’ sets the bar high from the outset. Her heart-rending performance of ‘Easy Terms’ moves the audience to tears as first her belongings and then her new born child are taken from her. Tracey Spencer makes a convincing Mrs Lyons and, as the ‘less fortunate’ twin, Mickey, who remains to be brought up in poverty by his natural mother, Sean Jones is both hilarious and moving. Childhood friend and later sweetheart Linda is played superbly by livia Sloyan].

As the ever present narrator, Marti Pellow moves the story on its inevitable course, and gets to sing ‘Shoes up-on the Table’ where we are once again reminded of his beautiful vocal range.

As we reach the conclusion, the full company sing ‘Tell Me It`s Not True’, in glorious harmony, and the audience is moved to tears again, earning the cast a well-deserved standing ovation.

This brilliant show entwines a tragic story with humour and irony. Strong performances from Pellow, Evans and Jones make this powerful show well worth seeing again and again.


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