Friday, December 29, 2006

Blood Brothers

Blood BrothersA musical derived from a play originally written for secondary school children there is no doubt that Blood Brothers has been very successful.

It opened at the Liverpool Playhouse in 1983, and is currently playing at the Phoenix Theatre in London, which is where I went to see it. There is also a touring production making its way around the UK and a number of fixed productions spread throughout the English speaking world.

The question is why has it been so successful? The production I saw was well executed, but then it would be, it has been in continuous production for 14 years. The performances by the actors were very good, and the musical accompanyment was also of a reasonably high quality. These all work in its favour, but there is on niggling aspect of the whole production which I found lacking, there is the small matter of the plot, and as it happens Willy Russell must have considered it to be a very small matter indeed.

It may have been originally written for secondary school children but a nine year old could follow it without much difficulty. The plot is so obvious and predicatble that once you have seen the first five minutes you could have an hour long nap, and pick up from where you left off without any difficulty, and without missing much, which I must confess I had to resist the temptation to do the whole way through.

Blood Brothers
Plot: 5/20
Acting: 16/20
Production: 15/20
Entertainment: 15/40
Total: 51/100
It is theatre for the mentally fainéant, and I cannot for the life of me figure out why it won so many awards. 1983 must have been a prticularly bad year for theatre.

That said I must confess that as musicals go I have seen worse, much much worse. But I have also seen a lot better, 'High Society' at the beginning of the year being an excellant example of a good musical.



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