The nation’s most loved stage show returns to the Millennium Forum next week for what is sure to be another memorable run for Blood Brothers the Musical.
The multi-award winning show has surpassed 10,000 performances in London’s West End and Willy Russell’s tale is now in its 33rd year.
Set in 1960’s Liverpool, the story follows the heartbreaking tale of twins Eddie and Mickey who are separated at birth when their mum, Mrs Johnstone, could not afford to care for them both. For the good of her kids she feels that her only option is to give one child to her wealthy boss, Mrs Lyons, who is unable to bear children of her own.
Lyn Paul, formally of 70’s international chart-topping pop group The New Seekers, debuted as Mrs Johnston in 1997 and has walked those famous West End boards many times since. 2016 sees Lyn return to the role she holds much love for. “You can’t ask for any better really” Lyn said when I caught up with her his week.
“It’s so well written, well produced, well directed and the cast are just fantastic. It’s more like a family and Mrs Johnston is an absolute joy of a role to play.”
The multi Laurence Olivier Award and Tony Award winning play has entertained audiences throughout the world since making its theatre debut in 1983. But why has it become so popular? “I think it’s the fact that people can relate to it” she said.
“I think that in every aspect of the play there’s something that everyone can relate to. It may be money worries, wanting to have a baby and not being able to or maybe it’s because you feel you cannot look after your children properly because you’re struggling financially.”
Blood Brothers is such an emotional play, but how does it feel under the bright theatre lights night after night performing with such emotion? “It’s not only emotionally draining for me, but also for the majority of the cast” she said.
“We get what we call a ‘Blood Brothers face’ where we start off at the beginning of the tour looking reasonably fresh for our age and then after a couple of weeks with all the crying, you have puffy eyes that just won’t go away and a puffy face, so we call it the ‘Blood Brothers face’.”
Obviously it’s not only the cast who find the show emotional but the audience also with Lyn telling me that sometimes the front row can even set her off. “Often when I see the tissues going up to the eyes I start to cry even more and I’m afraid I am not Shirley Bassey, I can’t sing and cry so we have a huge problem there because I just go to pieces” she tells me amidst laughs.
Lyn is very much looking forward to making the short journey across the water for the Irish tour. “We have a very small cast and it is very much like a family” she tells me.
“We do most things together and have little get-togethers after the show, so most of the venues that we perform we thoroughly enjoy but it’s always a pleasure coming across to Ireland because it’s not a venue that we play often.
“It’s lovely to get out of England and get across and meet the Irish people and just spend time over there. I’m looking forward to it very much.”
Blood Brothers the Musical will open on Tuesday 4th October and run until Saturday 8th October with tickets from £10.