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"Once is never enough"


An fab musical !  !


Recommendable Yes:

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How does it compare to similar works?Very good

How does it compare to works by the same author?Very good

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Blood Brother’s “Once is never enough”

Author: Willy Russell;
Director: Bob Tomson;
Producer: Bill Kenwright Ltd;

Cast includes:

Lyn Paul (Mrs Johnston) Philip Stewart (Narrator) Stephen Palfreman (Mickey), Mark Hutchinson (Eddie), Sarah Hay (Mrs Lyons), Louise Clayton (Linda), Stephen Pallister (Mr Lyons), Daniel Taylor (Sammy), Grant Aylward (PC/Teacher), Louis Tamone (Perkins), Louise Russell (Donna Marie), Alex Harland (Bus Conductor), Emily Buck (Brenda), James Templeton (Neighbour).

Blood Brothers is an emotional, compelling musical, beautiful songs entwined with a heart wrenching story. I have seen this musical 5 times and I never fail to leave in tears!

Song List:

1. Marilyn Monroe
2. My Child
3. Easy Terms
4. Shoes Upon The Table
5. Kids Game
6. Shoes Upon The Table (reprise)
7. Long Sunday Afternoon/My Friend
8. Bright New Day
9. Marilyn Monroe (reprise)
10. That Guy
11. Summer Sequence
12. I'm Not Saying A Word
13. Take A Letter Miss Jones
14. The Robbery
15. Marilyn Monroe (reprise)
16. Light Romance
17. Madman
18. Tell Me It's Not True

The story:

Act 1

Set in Liverpool it is known as “Scouse” the musical! We follow the story of Mrs Johnson, single mother of seven. The story starts when Mrs Johnson finds out she is pregnant again, if this was not bad enough she is expecting twins. They can barley afford to feed one more mouth yet alone two, Mrs Johnson does not know what to do.

Mrs Johnson gets a job cleaning for a wealthy lady called Mrs Lyons; she explains to her new employer that times are hard and that her children might get taken away from her. Mrs Lyons can’t conceive a child herself and has always been desperate to start a family. Mrs Lyons suggests that she take one of the children as her own, her husband is away for 9 months and he’d never have to know. She promises Mrs Johnson she can see her baby when ever she’d like.

Mrs Johnson gives birth to twin boys Edward and Michael. Mrs Lyons takes Edward to be her own child.

As promised Mrs Johnson continues to work for Mrs Lyons and on her break she plays with her son Edward, one day Mr Johnson tells his wife to sack Mrs Johnson. Mrs Lyons does so and tells her that she can never see Edward again. She says that Michael and Edward must never find out about their pact, because as superstition has it the moment they do they will die!

We then skip to seven years later Michael Johnson is playing out when he bumps into an upper class boy called Eddie Lyons and they decide to become Best Friends. They discover that they share the same birthday, not knowing any different they decide it is because they were meant to meet. The two boys both prick their fingers and rub the blood together; they have now become Blood Brothers.

The two boys have fun together playing out with Mickey’s brother Sammy and Linda. Mrs Lyons finds out that the boys are friends and moves Eddie to the country. Both boys are upset to be parting, and Mrs Johnson is upset to loose her son again, she gives Eddie a locket with a picture of herself and Mickey in it.

Mrs Johnson is then informed that house she is living in is being pulled down and they are being re located to the country, Mrs Johnson is over joyed at the thought of a new life.

Act 2

Mrs Johnson is enjoying her new life in the country until Mickey and his friend Linda get suspended from school. At the age of 14 their hormones are all over the place and discover that Linda has a crush on Mickey.

At the same Eddie also gets suspended from school, he is asked to remove his locket and refuses. Back at home Mrs Lyons is furious to find that the locket contains a picture of Mrs Johnson and Mickey. She demands to know were he got it from; Eddie comes back at his mother saying that she must have secrets. Mrs Lyons is reminded of the pact that she made!

Eddie and Mickey bump into each other in the country and are reunited, at first they don’t recognise each other and are envious of the other. The years go by now 18 Mickey, Eddie and Linda are great friends. Eddie is about to leave for university and then he realises he loves Linda. Eddie’s leaving brings Mickey and Linda closer together and they spend one together.

A few months and Linda is pregnant, Mickey tells his mother and they have her blessing to be married. The next day Mickey gets fired and starts to go crazy looking for work. Eddie returns on a Christmas brake and offers to loan Mickey money. Mickey refuses to take the money and tells Eddie to grow up and start living in the real world. They both part on uneasy terms.

Eddie runs into Linda and proclaims his love to her, Linda admits she has always had feelings for him, but she is with Mickey now. Mickey on the other hand runs into his brother Sammy, Sammy is also out of work. Sammy produces a gun and explains that he wants Mickey to be a look out in a robbery. Mickey agrees.

Everything goes wrong when Sammy shoots a man in the robbery, he flees and Mickey is caught by the police. Mickey is sentenced for seven years. Mickey suffers from depression and when he is released from jail does not want to go to work. Linda finds it hard to cope and contacts Eddie for support and a romance blossoms between them.

Mrs Lyons still furious at Mrs Johnson for “Following” her to country finds out about the affair and goes to tell Mickey everything. Mickey is delusional from drugs and takes a gun from his drawer and heads like a mad man to the magistrates court were Eddie works.

And that I’m afraid is all I’m telling you…………………………………..if you want find out what happens you’d best get your self a ticket:

Blood Brothers is currently on at the Phoenix Theatre.


The Phoenix Theatre
Charing Cross Road


Nearest Underground: Leicester Square/Tottenham Court Road
Nearest Rail: Charing Cross


Wheelchair Access: Yes


Monday – Saturday 7.45pm, Thursday matinee at 3pm, and Saturday at 4 pm.


Ticket prices vary from £10 - £40.
For more information check out:


The running time for this show is 2hrs 45mins.

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Comments about this review »

hamishette 04.07.2005 14:18

was thinking of going to see this in October in Glasgow but did not know what it was about, but after your review think I will be going.Thanks xx

sarahbooke 26.04.2005 10:38

Totally agree - I've seen it three times and want to go again! makes me cry every time!

jonnylove 25.01.2005 23:29

great op blood brothers is the best play ive seen it got me going to the theater more often

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Product Information »

Product details

Type Play
Title Blood Brothers
Author Willy Russell
ISBN 3425040022
EAN 9783425040028

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This review of Blood Brothers - Willy Russell has been rated:

"very helpful" by (90%):

  1. hamishette
  2. sarahbooke
  3. jonnylove

and 43 other members

"helpful" by (10%):

  1. law3
  2. Thehonesttruth
  3. hawkida

and 2 other members

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