Back in Cardiff for a record 10th visit, Blood Brothers opened at the New Theatre tonight (Tuesday 26 September) to a packed house, a standing ovation, and countless (I lost count anyway) curtain calls.
This is a show that takes you on that rollercoaster of emotions – from laughs and smiles to gasps and sobs.
It may lack any take-away hummable tunes, but the audience takes away a more powerful message about nurture over nature, and the heartbreaking injustice of the class system.
It’s a message as relevant today as it was when the show debuted three decades ago, and a message faultlessly delivered by a talented cast – notably New Seekers singer Lyn Paul as Mrs Johnstone, Dean Chisnall as the narrator, Sean Jones as Mickey, and Mark Hutchinson as his long-lost twin, Eddie.
Written by Willy Russell (whose Shirley Valentine with Jodie Prenger delighted me in June), Blood Brothers tells the moving story of Liverpool twins, separated at birth, whose short lives in different social classes, leave them with little in common, except a childhood bond of friendship and their teenage love for the same girl.
Even if you’re not a fan of musicals, this is a show you have to see – and will be glad you did.
Blood Brothers runs until Saturday (September 30), with performances at 7.30pm each night, and also at 2.30pm on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. Tickets can be booked here or by phoning the box office on 029 2087 8889.
Review by Andrew Weltch