Blood Brothers is a story of a pair of twins who are separated at birth. They are brought up in totally different ways and this is shown through the characters register, body language and reactions to each other. They story is told by various methods such as the use of an interventionist narrator and soliloquy in the form of songs by the characters. In this essay I intend to analyse various techniques and themes which help establish this play to the succesful status it has attained.
The Play is written by Willie Russell. Willie Russell was born just outside Liverpool in Whiston, 1947. After leaving school with one English O-level, he then went on became a ladies hairdresser. In his spare time he would write comical songs but would never sing them in public until one night at his local pub, his friend put him up to sing, and for the first time sang a song he wrote about the ‘Kirkby Estate’ where he had his audience in ‘gales of laughter’.Order now
‘Blood Brothers’ is set at a crucial time in British history. It is set in Liverpool in the early 1980s at a time when many of the working class were being replaced by machines as it was cheaper. The educated people, though were hardly affected. We see Mrs Johnston a hard-working woman, pregnant, alone with seven children and struggling to pay her debts. Then we see her ‘bright and breezy’, middle class employer Mrs Lyons. At first glance both women seem different, but they both share similar difficulties. They both are mostly alone and have been abandoned by their husbands. Mrs Johnston’s husband totally abandoned her when the pressure was too much, ‘mehusband walked out on me’.
Mrs Lyons has not been totally abandoned by her husband, yet he is always away for long gaps of time when he is on business trips, ‘the company sent him out for about nine months’. This is a huge space in time and is almost like abandoning her. The themes of the play were very obvious, such as class, innocence, superstition and family love. These themes were developed by movement, speech and mime. For example the theme of superstition was developed from the start when Mrs Lyons put the new shoes on the table and Mrs Johnstone reminded her about the saying “New shoes on the table arebad luck”.
It was then later developed by Mrs Lyons by her saying “Come on or the bogey man will get you”. This makes the theme of superstition more effective because the script makes more than one reference to it. Also this themes back up the theme of innocence with the children because Edward believed it and so this also helped the theme develop. Another big theme in the play was class. This was clearly shown from the start because of Mrs Johnstone working for Mrs Lyons. When Edward and Mickey first meet, the simple fact that they do not realise that they’re twins, especially when they find out that their birthdays are on the same day, shows that their physical appearances must have been changed quite a lot by their parents and environment.
Mickey: “When’s your birthday?” Eddie: “December 12th”. Mickey: “So is mine.” It does not give any specific images of any of their appearances but you would expect Eddie to have a side parting, clean face and may be chubbier than Mickey due to a better diet and he would have been more knowledgeable about hygiene. Mickey would probably be quite a grubby boy and perhaps not as tall as Eddie but he will probably be stronger than Eddie because of the amount of time spent outside playing. Eddie would probably have watched the TV or played on a computer because it was available to him.