Blood Brothers, by Willy Russell

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Blood Brothers is a very popular play written by author and playwright Willy Russell. It was first performed in a Liverpool school in 1981. Willy Russell himself was born and brought up in Liverpool by his working class mother and father. At school he was an academic failure he left with one O level in English. After six years working as a hairdresser he went back to college part time to get decent qualifications. The play is about twin brothers born into a large family, one child is given up for adoption and the other is kept. The story shows how their lives have been linked since birth but gradually become separated because of the background and upbringing. At the end of the play blood is shed as both brothers are tragically murdered by Mrs Lyons the foster mother. I think blood brothers is more than just a documentary about the everyday lives of the twins. It is also a comedy, a musical, a drama but most of all it is a real life soap opera dealing with issues such as poverty, class, welfare, health, unemployment, adolescent relationships, family and education. Throughout the play there is a lot of comedy. These comical moments helps to keep the readers interest. Liverpudlians have always had a reputation for their humor. Even when they are swearing it does not seem offensive. Examples of comedy in the play are in act 2 scene 1 when Mrs Johnston refuses to open the door to Mickey because she thinks he is the rent man. More evidence of comdey is when the Milkman turns into a Doctor. Later in this act Eddie is taught to swear by Mickey but uses the swearwords incorrectly when he gets angry and calls his mother a “fuck off .” Also when the Johnston family move away to the country and they are not used to the country life. Mrs Johnston says “whats our Donna Mary put her sodding foot in now ... Sammy get off that cow”. When Mickey is suspicious of Eddie giving him sweets. When the Police Woman is talking to Mickey and Eddie gets all the clever replies wrong. The play is also a musical A example of this is in the opening scene when Mrs Johnston is telling us about her life so far. Theres a backing group who sing tunes from the 60's. It makes the opening scene funny, interesting and sad at the same time. The idea of going dancing runs throughout the play, it reminds the reader that the character of Mrs Johnston used to be a happy person who enjoyed her life.
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