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  • Review by john Murray

Blood Brothers in Dunfermline

The musical Blood Brothers has become a phenomenon and it is now 30 years since Bill Kenwright’s production toured the UK. It was the first touring success that led a return to the West End too, unheard of to be become a success for a return run. It went on to run for 24 years and 10,000 performances winning 4 awards along the way. This very gritty Liverpool story of poverty had a surprising International appeal too. On Broadway they had seven Tony nominations and toured Japan, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Imagine seeing this in NYC when Petula Clark starred and her son was David Cassidy.

For this week’s run in Fife Lyn Paul plays Mrs Johnstone and has been known as the definitive casting by many but on the night I attended it was understudy Sarah Jane Buckley who played the lead freeing up her own role as Mrs Lyons to Amy-Jane Ollies. Willy Russell’s musical surrounds Mrs Johnstone’s story of trying to make ends meet with seven children and twins Mickey & Eddie on the way. She takes on work as a housekeeper to Mrs Lyons and agrees to give one of her twins away. Separated at birth they do have chance meetings leading to a tragic end. Songs like Marilyn Monroe reoccur throughout and the big song Tell Me It’s Not True becomes a closing anthem.

No less than three curtain calls were achieved on opening night as a standing ovation was a deserved conclusion for this large cast of thirteen. The full cast excelled and the story still has its day with all the emotions and so appreciated by a full Dunfermline audience.

Alhambra till Oct 28th

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