A fra­ter­nal favourite

Spot­light’s touch­ing new mu­si­cal stresses the gap be­tween rich and poor, writes Kate Hick­son

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - SHOWS -

IT’S the sec­ond time lo­cal di­rec­tor Clem Halpin has put on his ‘‘all-time favourite’’ mu­si­cal, Blood Broth­ers.

Even a mem­ber from his orig­i­nal cast in 2005 has come on board again in the Bri­tish mu­si­cals that touched the hearts of a gen­er­a­tion.

Spot­light Theatre’s lat­est show is the heart-warm­ing story of Mickey and Eddie, twins sep­a­rated at birth but re­united through friend­ship.

De­serted by her hus­band, the boys’ mother learns she is ex­pect­ing twins she can­not af­ford to keep.

A cleaner for a rich but child­less woman begs to be given one of the ba­bies in a se­cret deal.

The boys’ lives are vastly dif­fer­ent: Mickey has a poverty-stricken life of crime while priv­i­leged Eddie goes on to study at Ox­ford.

Halpin has been with the theatre for more than 45 years and says Blood Broth­ers is his ‘‘all-time favourite’’. ‘‘That’s say­ing some­thing,’’ he adds.

‘‘My wife and I saw the London pro­duc­tion six years ago and fell in love with it.

‘‘I di­rected the show for Spot­light in 2005 and it was re­ceived ex­tremely well. When asked if I would like to di­rect again this year, I looked through all the shows avail­able and de­cided to bring back an­other sea­son of Blood Broth­ers.

‘‘We have a cast of 19, only one per­son from the orig­i­nal 2005 pro­duc­tion.’’

Halpin says cast­ing the show was the hard­est part.

‘‘The most dif­fi­cult char­ac­ters to cast are the broth­ers, as they have to por­tray the boys from the age of seven to their mid-twen­ties,’’ he says.

‘‘That seems odd but it works. The boys have some beau­ti­ful songs to sing and have to be able to han­dle the act­ing with very funny scenes and some very emo­tional.

‘‘Last sea­son we had the cast re­ceived stand­ing ova­tions, so let’s hope we can do it again.’’

The mu­si­cal stars Pa­trick Ox­ley as the nar­ra­tor, Alex Downy as Mickey John­stone, Tim Car­roll as Eddie Lyons, Al­li­son Pattinson as Mrs John­stone, He­len Maden as Mrs Lyons, Katy Roberts as Linda, Craig Ni­cholls as Sammy (the John­stones’ other son) and Peter Maden as Mr Lyons.

The pow­er­ful and mov­ing story is a won­der­ful tale which will cap­ture theatre­go­ers’ hearts and leave a last­ing im­pres­sion with its hi­lar­i­ously funny di­a­logue and haunt­ing mu­si­cal score.

Blood Broth­ers has been run­ning for 25 years and is one of the long­est run­ning mu­si­cal ever on West End af­ter it was first per­formed in 1988. It has won Bri­tish Best Mu­si­cal award, nom­i­nated for three Olivier awards and six Tony awards.

Blood Broth­ers opens at Spot­light Theatre, Benowa, to­mor­row and plays Thurs­days to Satur­days at 7.30pm and Sun­days at 2pm un­til June 9. Tick­ets are $18 to $35. Call 5539 4255 to book.

Alex Downy as Mickey and Tim Car­roll as Eddie in Spot­light Theatre’s stag­ing of Blood Broth­ers.

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