The international smash hit Blood Brothers opens its new 2018 tour at the Theatre Royal Bath from Tuesday 16th to Saturday 20th January. Written by award-winning playwright Willy Russell (Educating Rita, Shirley Valentine), this iconic musical has triumphed across the globe, scooping up no fewer than four awards for Best Musical in London and receiving seven Tony Award nominations on Broadway.
Critically acclaimed actress and singer Lyn Paul (The New Seekers, Cabaret, Taboo, Footloose – The Musical) returns to the seminal role of Mrs Johnstone, following her first performance back in 1997. Hailed as ‘The definitive Mrs Johnstone’ (Manchester Evening News), Lyn has since played the lead role on numerous UK tours and also starred as Mrs Johnstone in the West End in 2012.
Blood Brothers tells the captivating and moving story of twin boys separated at birth, only to be reunited by a twist of fate and a mother’s haunting secret. The memorable score includes A Bright New Day, Marilyn Monroe, and the emotionally charged hit, Tell Me It’s Not True.
When Mrs Johnstone, a young mother, is deserted by her husband and left to provide for seven hungry children, she takes a job as a housekeeper in order to make ends meet. It is not long before her brittle world crashes around her when she discovers herself to be pregnant – this time with twins. In a moment of weakness and desperation, she enters a secret pact with her employer which leads inexorably to the show’s shattering climax.
This epic tale of Liverpool life started as a play in 1981 before opening at the Liverpool Playhouse 35 years ago in 1983. It has since completed sell out seasons in the US, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Japan and ran in London’s West End for 24 years, exceeding 10,000 performances, one of only three musicals ever to achieve that milestone.
Rising to fame as a member of the New Seekers, Lyn Paul was the featured vocalist on the group’s 1972 Eurovision Song Contest entry, Beg, Steal or Borrow, taking them to second place, and lead vocalist on the 1974 number-one hit You Won’t Find Another Fool Like Me. The group’s other hits include I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing, which sold over 20 million copies and still remains one of the 100 best-selling singles in the UK. On stage, Lyn’s many credits include the UK tours of Cabaret, Boy George’s musical Taboo, Footloose – The Musical, as well as her long association with Blood Brothers in the West End and on tour. Lyn’s previous performances at Bath’s Theatre Royal include performing at a special Gala Evening in 1990 and the pantomime Babes in the Wood with Roy Hudd in 1989.
Sean Jones and Mark Hutchinson reprise their acclaimed roles as Mickey and Eddie having previously played the twins together in the West End and on tour, including at the Theatre Royal Bath most recently in 2013.
Mark Hutchinson won the Drama Desk Award on Broadway for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical for his role as Eddie. Sean Jones has also performed in Blood Brothers over many years and is well known for his role as Mickey, having first been cast in the musical in the West End in 1999.
The company performing at the Theatre Royal Bath will also feature Mathew Craig as Narrator, Sarah Jane Buckley as Mrs Lyons, Danielle Corlass as Linda, Danny Taylor as Sammy, Tim Churchill as Mr Lyons, Amy-Jane Ollies as Donna Marie, Andy Owens as Perkins, Alison Crawford as Brenda, Graham Martin as Policeman and Teacher, Josh Capper as Neighbour and Graeme Kinniburgh as Bus Conductor.
Willy Russell is one of the UK’s leading contemporary dramatists. His many plays include Educating Rita and Shirley Valentine. Educating Rita, originally commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company, enjoyed a two year run in the West End and was made into a film starring Michael Caine and Julie Walters. Shirley Valentine also made the move from stage to screen in an enormously popular film starring Pauline Collins and Tom Conti.
Blood Brothers is directed by Bob Tomson and Bill Kenwright with designs by Andy Walmsley. Lighting design is by Nick Richings, sound design is by Dan Samson and musical direction is by Rich Morris.
Blood Brothers appears at the Theatre Royal Bath from Tuesday 16th to Saturday 20th January. Tickets are on sale at the Box Office on 01225 448844 and online at www.theatreroyal.org.uk