Review: Blood Brothers At The Liverpool Empire

WILLY Russell’s Blood Brothers is a timeless classic. That’s probably an over-used term but it certainly applies to this marvellous piece of musical theatre. Russell wrote everything; the story, the lyrics, the music – the man’s a genius. The staging at the Liverpool Empire was superb, the sets were fantastic and the cast – well, what can I say. Lyn Paul has been voted as the definitive Mrs Johnstone and I can’t argue with that – she was brilliant. I’ve seen Barbara Dickson in the role and thought that was the pinnacle but oh no, Lyn Paul brings a whole lot more emotion and grittiness to the part – no mean feat. The narrator played by Dean Chisnall also blew my socks off, he has a menacing presence matched with an incredible voice. And then there was Mickey and Eddie played by Sean Jones and Joel Benedict respectively – both fabulous – adults playing kids doesn’t always work but these two pulled it off and then some. This show is pretty much an institution but this production took it to new heights. It’s funny, it’s sad and it makes you proud to be a Scouser. And yes, I did cry at the end. Blood Brothers is at the Liverpool Empire until  1 October. Review by Andy Green