We chose to work on the scene when the two twins confront their particular teachers, which is a highpoint of humour in Blood Brothers. The scene informs us three elements. Firstly we see the completely different quality of education the twins are exposed to and secondly how similar the twins are despite this different learning environment. Thirdly the audience can see that both brothers are suspended, under similar circumstances, for insubordination. This scene conveys four of the main themes of Blood Brothers. The theme of twins is probably the most obvious thread in the play. The twins start out with identical opportunities but after separation they are forced into two different classes with disastrous results. In this scene we are forced to consider the effect of class upon life’s outcomes.
We worked as a team of four people. There was no difficulty in casting as we all had fairly firm ideas about which part we would like to play and nobody had any disagreements. There was 1.5 hours allocated for rehearsal. We elected that we would not have a director but that we would monitor our own performances. We also agreed to encourage each other and provide opinion if necessary. As rehearsal progressed we began to apply little extra pieces of self-direction. As an example, when Mickey and Linda are dismissed from the class, Perkins is given a chance to get his own back and he sticks his leg out to trip Mickey. This allows a moment of glory in an otherwise dull role as the class nerd. As a final proof check we asked our class teacher to see our rehearsal.
Many scenes in Blood Brothers are suitable for the use of drama conventions but we agreed that this scene was not one of them. This because we really wanted to keep up a fast and fluid pace and we felt that any conventions would have slowed things down. There were two peaks of performance in this scene. Both, where the twins, separately, insulted their class teacher. In many ways the twin’s insults were similar but we wanted to differentiate their performances.
Firstly Edward was dragged into a dispute with his teacher over the locket he wears. We had Edward speak in a cultured tone, with a certain degree of smugness. His posture was elongated and haughty. His insult was at once shockingly crude and also wickedly witty. It was the sort of flip remark we sneakily admire but wouldn’t dare say. In contradiction Mickey’s insult is benign – “Fish fingers”, but Mickey swaggers and larks about. The audience anticipates his comment being rude and we laugh gently at the humour. We have demonstrated how Mickey could have been so much more like Edward if he had benefited from a superior education.