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THEATRE REVIEW: FTN Reviews Blood Brothers at the Grand Opera House, Belfast

September 18th, 2014 by Conor ONeill Comments

Blood Brothers,
Grand Opera House, Belfast
For more info visit their site here

Marilyn Monroe, the number 92 bus, Adolf Hitler, warring mothers, divided twins, class confliction… I haven’t even taken a look at my note-book yet and there’s things swimming, dragging, choking, smoking my tiny head. If I start at the beginning I may just get myself lost and lose all of this thread. So let’s start at the end. Four standing ovations. Not one, not two or three but four. After two hours of acting, singing, dancing and prancing I’m sure they didn’t want four, but four they got and deserved every one of them.

The GOH holds 1,020 bums in its main theatre, 843 turned up, nearly a full house, I regret my maths but how many of you people didn’t turn up for this classic of a musical? The place was full of the pretty, the old and the young, I felt overdressed in my onesie.

Three minutes in and we have eleven on stage but the four main players are Mickey, Edward, Missus Lyons and last but nothing east of least is Missus Johnston, who appears to give birth every time she farts. Set in Liverpool sometime in the 50s or 60s the music jumps from classical to rock and/or roll to reggae, lulls, spills and all of the stuff of a good entertainment. Words about our actors, directors, writers, crew, off stage orchestra and all the other stuff? Never ask a rhetorical question is the first thing they tell you in journalism school. What?

There’s four main characters, directed by a two team master plan of Bob Tomson and Bill Kenwright namely Mickey (Sean Jones), Eddie (Joel Benedict), Mrs Lyons (Kate Jarman) and Mr Lyons (Tim Churchill), and Mrs Johnstone (Maureen Nolan); not big names to me, but I’m sure you musical lovers slip them from the tips of your lips. I, a novice to the musical scene, had my four to the floor most of the night. Wrecked a boot.

The plot? A woman dropping babies every time she ovulates, sells a kid, gets sacked by the woman she was under employ and by chance the twins are reunited in a sharp sense of fate, What?

What? Why? Where? When? Who The plot is like a strangled tattoo, you wanna see this play, No BS, the hidden orchestra thrill the soul, every actor, major or minor you couldn’t get finer than the diner of Willie Rustle writing at his best.

Go see this play….Mork to Mindy “Nah Noo, Nah Noo, Stop reading this review, see this musical”. If you’ve a thump in your heart, are half a tart, get your ass to the GOH and enjoy the show.

5 out of 5 Nerds


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Conor O'Neill is at times a playwright and a qualified journalist. He has worked for the Belfast Telegraph, Portadown Times and South Belfast Advertiser. He also contributes to various online e-zines, specialising in theatre, gig reviews and other cultural events. If you were to ask him what he does, he will say 'I'm functioning'... that's a lie. Best suited to pressure and deadlines, O'Neill thrives on the moment, the passion and the thrill of now, he's only happy when he's watching or reviewing a play.