Theatre Review: Blood Brothers, New Theatre, Cardiff

2017 marks 30 years since Bill Kenwright’s production of the international smash hit musical Blood Brothers first toured the UK.  Blood Brothers tells the captivating and moving story of twin boys separated at birth, only to be reunited by a twist of fate and a mother’s haunting secret.

The show started very low key, with the band beginning to play the overture before the house lights went out. Gradually, as the audience realises what is happening they quieten down and the onstage lighting changes whilst various cast members appear on stage to create the opening scene.  

Lyn Paul is marvellous as she reprises the iconic role of Mrs Johnstone, opening the show with the song Marilyn Monroe.  She is hardly off stage for the majority of the first half of the opening act introducing the story through the infamous songs of the show including A Bright new Day and Tell Me It’s Not True.

Dean Chisnall is outstanding as he returns to the role of Narrator. His presence is a constant presence around the stage and he takes centre stage as he adds his powerful voice to the production, either narrating through song or singing with the cast. I could sit and listen to him sing all night.

My favorite performance of the night goes to Sean Jones who reprises his role as Mickey, creating a believable character from the age of seven/eght year old to a young adult in his twenties.  His development of character from a carefree child to a depressed adult draws the audience in and creates an empathy with the story of his character.

Although I can’t mention each cast member by name they all deserve recognition as there was not one weak link in the performances on the stage, with many cast members taking on several different minor characters as the story unfolded.

In researching this review it has surprised me to learn that I had seen Sean Jones and Lyn Paul in the 2010 tour of Blood Brothers but their performances tonight were so fresh and different from that production, if I hadn’t seen it in print I wouldn’t have believed it.

  • Blood Brothers continues at the New Theatre until Saturday 30th September 2017.  Don’t miss it!