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