Shrewsbury gets its share of the best of the best!

Willy Russell’s

Blood Brothers

Theatre Severn

Monday 20th April Saturday 25th April

If you ever want to experience true genius in theatrical writing you would do no better than to check out this amazing show. There isn’t enough superlatives written to react toWilly Russell’s  brilliant penwork.

What we have here is a bundle of excellence wrapped in superb Liverpool wit and tethered together with some of the greatest talent on stage today. If I were to précis my experience I would be fully justified in stopping this review right there and it would be job done.

However it wouldn’t then  be possible to tell you of having Marti Pellow (Wet Wet Wet) and Maureen Nolan (The Nolans) together on the same stage. Neither would you learn of the wonderful design or the incredibly tight lighting and sound cues, you  wouldn't be able to experience the two minute ovation the show rightfully earned and nor would you learn of the audience reaction in the theatre as they reluctantly had to admit the show was over and it was in fact time to go home.

No, you wouldn’t get to hear of any those things and this review would fail as true account of everything that happened on the stage tonight.

This show is magnificent. Performed with an energy and vibrancy that one never quite gets from a television show or a movie, Blood Brothers is going to be our Shakespeare of the 25th century. It is the sort of show you would want to see again and again.

Brought to us courtesy of Bill Kenwright productions there has clearly been no T’s left uncrossed and no I’s left undotted. This is the show with everything.

It has pathos, hilarity and tragedy; all in equal measure. The true theatricality of the piece is wonderful. Theatre is making your audience want to believe that that otherwise empty space really is Liverpool, Skelmersdale or New Brighton, it is making people want to listen to the story and feel for the protagonists and it is about entertainment. If a director can fit those demands in in equal measure, you have great theatre.

Those are the variables that have married in this instance to make this the stunning piece of theatre that is this show is.

Marti Pellow delivered the smoking, brooding moods of the narrator with true aplomb and Maureen Nolan had tears rolling down the cheeks of an audience that she had won from the off. The show was the better for their presence, naturally, had they not been there the brilliance of the score and script would not suffer too much for their absence, but they both add a luxurious icing to an already extremely rich cake.

If you only planning one theatre show this year make it this one. You will find that this review is both honest and accurate and you will be able also, to lose yourself in almost three hours of top drawer, top class entertainment.

Pre 1963 Liverpool was a little known declining port city in the North of England. Suddenly through Liverpool the working classes found a voice in the arts. Not only did we have the Beatles but the city just kept on providing us with act after act of top talent; talent that went on to shape and shake our very consciousness. Alan Bleasdale, Phil Redmond, The Mersey Poets and Willy Russell came along and rode the cultural crest that was emitting from the Pool and we as a nation were far richer for it.

Was it a glib statement that this play is Shakespeare for the Twenty Fifth century? No! I really mean it and when you see this show you would have to agree.

This is a five star review.

Owen Lewis

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Owen Lewis Owen Lewis

Owen Lewis was born fifty something years ago in the land of the black puddings. For the geographically challenged that is in Lancashire. Moving to Shropshire From 1970 Owen was brought up in Church Stretton. His first real job was in radio. After starting on BBC Radio Shropshire he became known on Marcher Sound, broadcasting throughout the North West for several years. After a university degree course in Theatre, Owen became an actor and went on to play "Pirate Bill" in The Alton Towers Hotel. He also made several television appearances. Returning to university he took his PGCE enabling him to teach. That saw him on the Essex coast as a drama teacher and latterly as a Creative Educational Liaison Officer making films and creating new teaching methods to employ on children in need of more help in their fundamental learning skills. Published playwright Owen ultimately wants a house boat in Amsterdam to focus on his work as Playwright and Poet.

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