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1001 Stories Collection

Blood Brothers

Added on 23rd June 2020

Book, lyrics and music Willy Russell
First performed 1983, Liverpool Playhouse

Family Identity and fairness

An iconic musical with memorable songs and powerful storytelling, which explores nature and nurture and the realities of a socially divided society.

Story

The story of a Liverpool working class mother persuaded to give away one of her twins sons at birth so that he can have a better life. Mickey and Eddy nevertheless meet and become friends and their lives become intertwined with fateful consequences.

Why we chose it

Blood Brothers has played to packed audiences all over the world for over 30 years. It is known as the ‘standing ovation’ musical because it receives a standing ovation at almost every performance.

Where it came from

Willy Russell has said that drama is a way to bring important social issues to audiences. Blood Brothers came from a piece he wrote for Merseyside Young People’s Theatre, which toured schools. It explores questions of nature and nurture and the effect of the recession of the 1980s in cities like Liverpool, vividly showing the realities of a socially divided society – Mickey, Eddie and Linda can play together as children and spend time together as teenagers but everything is stacked against Mickey once he grows up.

Where it went next

The year it opened it won an Olivier award for Best New Musical and has gone on to win many more awards. It is still touring and there have been revivals all over the world.

Associated stories

Willy Russell also wrote Educating Rita and Our Day Out, the story of a group of Liverpool schoolchildren taken on a trip to North Wales.

Added on 23rd June 2020

Book, lyrics and music Willy Russell
First performed 1983, Liverpool Playhouse

Family Identity and fairness