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Review: Blood Brothers at Fairfield Halls, Croydon
If you heard two friends singing “tell me it’s not true, say it’s just a story”, at the top of their lungs on Monday night, that was us.
My dear chum and I had gone to see Blood Brothers at Fairfield Halls in Croydon, and the beautiful music stayed with us for hours after the show.
Starring self-proclaimed Blood Brothers stalker Maureen Nolan as Mrs Johnstone and Marti Pellow as Narrator, the cast was incredibly strong.
Unfortunately, I have spent the last sleepless and tearful week travelling to and from Dover to visit my beloved grandma in hospital – so I was convinced I would fall asleep during the show.
But there was no chance of that.
Having never seen the emotional musical before, the ending came as a surprise to me, and I shall leave it that way for you too.
I’ve never seen the venue so packed out before, the atmosphere was electric.
Each member of the audience was hanging on the cast’s every line – the lady next to me spent the majority of the musical with her hands in the air, clenched into tense fists, clutching much needed tissues.
Maureen’s voice was faultless, full of passion and, as one would expect from a BB veteran, utterly believable as downtrodden Mrs Johnstone.
A poor woman, who breeds like a rabbit, she is forced to give up one of her new twin sons to her wealthy, barren boss.
The boys, Mickey and Eddie grow up in totally opposite circumstances.
Mickey, played by the talented Sean Jones, stays with his birth mother and countless siblings, getting into scrapes on the council estate and unable to stay clean for two seconds.
On the posh side of town, Eddie, portrayed by Mark Hutchinson, becomes an eloquent boarding school swot, always pristine, polite and gentlemanly.
The two were never meant to meet, but they are drawn together and become best friends and blood brothers, falling in love with the same girl.
Sean Jones is especially loveable as Mickey.
Despite playing the character at seven, 14-years-old and a grown-up, he remained convincing throughout.
His cheekiness and charm as a youngster were as believable as his flawed, paranoid, addicted personality towards the end.
People all around me were sobbing – just as Maureen had predicted.
Willy Russell’s masterpiece is still as relevant today as it was when he wrote it 28 years ago.
The songs are beautiful (look out for constant Marilyn Monroe references), the acting is superb and the story is timeless.
Catch the show at Fairfield Halls until Saturday, February 9.