It says plenty about the quality of a production when it has been running inLondon’s West End continuously for twenty plus years, and also there is usually a Bill Kenwright touring production on the go as well. So something must be very right in this classic Willy Russell musical. And there is.
This is of course the story of separated twins, Mickey Johnston and Eddie Lyons and features the whole debate of nature v nurture, as the story line tracks their lives from birth to the finale some 25 years later.
Mrs Johnstone, played by Vivienne Carlyle, can’t stop having kids, her employer Mrs Lyons, Tracy Spencer, is less fortunate and when Mrs J discovers that she is having twins they agree that Mrs L should have one as her own which seems good to them initially but maybe not such a good idea in reality.
The storyline is kept moving along by the somewhat sinister narrator, Craig Price, as Mickey, Sean Jones, and Eddie, Chris Carswell, grow up as near neighbours yet poles apart in upbringing.
The love interest of Linda, both twins are enamoured with her, Anna Sambrooks, is yet another complication in their development and comedy and tragedy are never far away throughout the superb production with the excellent script turned in by Willy Russell.
Now I have seen this musical umpteen times over the years and in essence it hasn’t changed, both dark at times, yet almost frivolous at others a real mix of emotions are generated, belly laughs occassionally, genuine tears at others. The current incumbent cast of those already listed and supported by Daniel Taylor as Sammy, Tim Churchill, Graham Martin, Joanna Dalladay Jonathan Vickers, Karl Greenwood, Suzi Power and Alex Harland are as good as any I have seen over these performances.
The music is of course an integral attraction, again written by Russell, and the very talented singers are given a tight platform by the band under the direction of Kelvin Towse.
The whole quality of this show was illustrated by the universal standing ovation that marked the end of the opening night performance, one that was richly deserved in my opinion.
Blood Brothers is running at The Alhambra until Saturday 10 December so if you are quick you still have time to catch it, See www.alhambradunfermline.com for details and also of all other shows they are currently planning over the next few months.
Reviewed by Geoff