As an avid musical theatre fan I have both watched and performed in many musicals. Last month, I watched ‘Blood Brothers’ in the Manchester Palace Theatre and it’s hard to explain just how incredible it was. My dream role of all time is to play Mrs Johnson. In this particular performance Maureen Nolan gave a hard-hitting portray. This is the third time I have seen her in this role and each time she has managed to maintain a high level of excellence. Her performance of ‘Tell Me It’s Not True’ never fails to bring a tear to my eye and I know for a fact that I am never the only one. She gives a powerful performance, portraying a strong mother who will not let anything come before the welfare of her children- despite her never-ending struggles of being a single mother in the council houses of Liverpool during the 1960s.
Marti Pellow plays the haunting role of the narrator, and I can’t help feel that he was not quite right for the role. He gave a good performance of the Narrator as an actor, but personally I do not feel that he had strong enough vocals in order to really belt out ‘Shoes Upon The Table’. I feel that in order to be able to give an even better portrayal, a stronger voice is definitely needed. However, he still managed to give to fill the stage with the strong presence.
The stand out performance, no competition, has to be Sean Jones’ outstanding performance as Mickey Johnson. If there’s one thing that I like about brothers, it’s the fact that the seven year old Mickey is played by a grown man, who plays him right until the last moment. Sean Jones’ recitation of ‘I Wish I Was Our Sammy’ is my personal highlight of the play- as it takes so much skill to be able to give such a convincing performance of a child as a grown man. Simply amazing. Not only does he manage the character of young Mickey, but also manages to give an emotional performance of a troubled Mickey addicted to anti-depressants. You cannot argue that an actor who possesses that amount of versatility is simply outstanding and one of the best in their field.
Joel Benedict took on the role of Eddie Lyons and for a first professional role I honestly take my hat off to him, as he truly performed amazingly as the comical role of Eddie. He manages to show Eddie to be completely different in every single way, but both actors have an amazing bond and chemistry- it really appears that the two have characters have a strong connection which has travelled through leaps and bounds. I know from his performance that Benedict has bright future and will definitely become a successful performer.
At first I found it a bit hard to warm to Danielle Corlass as Linda at first. Nothing to do with her performing which was outstanding, simply because I’ve always been used to Linda being played by a brunette! However, Corlass did manage to win me round. In particular, her scene with Mickey towards the end of the play where she refuses him his anti-depressants is extremely outstanding. The emotion that goes into that scene is indescribable. She shows Linda in many lights- mischievous, promiscuous and vulnerable and lonely. I have a lot of sympathy for Linda, as she is stuck in a troubled family life from a young age.
Graham Martin is an extremely under-appreciated character because he does not play a major role, but I think he is a terrific actor who deserves far more praise than he receives.
All in all, the cast delivered an indescribable performance. I strongly suggest that everybody watches the play at least once in their life.