I decided to work with Roxy and Duncan within my group. I had worked with Roxy on many occasions during drama lessons; I knew she was very good at drama and reliable. She was very hard working and always wanted to make sure her parts were well rehearsed and all of her lines were learnt. Duncan had a lot of confidence in his work and ability to act. I had worked with Duncan on many occasions before not just in drama classes but in school plays as well. The whole of our group which included Alex Porter, but I didn’t directly work with her, felt it would be good to have Duncan in our group because most of the scenes needed a male part. I had never worked with Alex before but I knew that she was a strong and confident actress. The entire group was very dependable and hardworking. We were all comfortable with each other and so we found it easy to work well in our group and reach our full acting potential.
We were all given a script of ‘Blood Brothers’ by Willy Russell. We all read through the script first in class and we all enjoyed it. Some of the scenes were very funny but others were also very dramatic. We enjoyed reading the script and felt we could do well at acting it out. We then had to choose which scenes to do, and also which characters we were going to play. I played the part of Linda, whom Mickey, played by Duncan, grew up with and married.
Roxy was Mrs. Johnstone, the natural mother of both boys. Alex played the adopted mother of Edward. Duncan played Edward and Mickey because this was more believable seeing as they were twin brothers. We decided that we would do six scenes, three scenes each. Roxy and Alex decided to do the first scenes in the book; this was good for the audience because they knew what the play was about and what was happening throughout the play. Duncan and Alex then decided to do a scene where Edward was a little older. This again gave the audience an idea of what was going on throughout the stages of the twins’ lives.
Duncan and I acted the next scene. It showed Mickey as a teenager. We choose this scene because it was quite funny and still quite dramatic and depicted teenage life, which our whole drama group could relate to. We then choose a scene towards the end of the play once Mickey had come out of prison, but was still taking tablets. We felt that we should do a scene before hand so the audience understood what was going on. So I did a scene with Roxy, which explained what had happened since the last scene. My next scene, and our last, was with Duncan. This scene was very dramatic and different from the other scenes that we had acted out, so it was quite a challenge for us.
I thought the script was very clever in how it followed the lives of the two brothers, but without them actually knowing that they were brothers until the end of the play. I thought that the contrast in their two lives was realistic to life today. I thought that my character, Linda, was very strong, and knew what she wanted and was quite determined. She had always wanted Mickey and had waited for him. I thought I would enjoy playing this character because I had to be fairly forceful! Mrs. Johnstone was also like this. She was very strong even though she had a lot to deal with and had quite a hard life. Mickey and Eddie were quite alike. You could tell that Eddie had been brought up differently and was more educated and went through school and university. You could also tell that Mickey had been brought up with a poorer background. This gave the two characters a good contrast of rich and poor, yet very alike.
We had many different scenes to set up on stage. The first scenes were in Mrs. Lyons house, so we had to create space and make it seem very big. There wasn’t a lot of movement in this scene, so we had to concentrate on our voices and limited movements. The next scene out of the house was outside with Mickey and Linda. This was good because we had lots of space and quite a lot of movement within the scene. The next scenes were again in a house, but this time it was Mickey and Linda’s house. During these scenes there was a lot of movement so we were able to use the stage effectively.
Linda came across as very common in her younger years, so this needed to come across in my accent. We decided that everyone apart from Mrs. Lyons and Eddie should have a Liverpudlian accent. This would help in order to have a contrast between the two women and sons. If Eddie and his mother have posh accents then you would be able to tell the difference between Mickey and his mother. The play was clearly set in Liverpool, so we thought we should at least try the accents. Luckily we all managed to get the accents that we needed just right. One of the only problems was that with the Liverpudlian accent we were rushing our lines, so had to learn to slow down but keep the same accent.