There were different aspects of the set which reflected the themes of the musical. There were rich and poor sides of the stage. The dirty and vandalised council house contrasted with the clean, white detached house with a balcony. It juxtaposes the two different houses as it emphases the huge contrast. The houses of Mrs Johnstone and Mrs Lyons were also very different on the inside aswell. Mrs Lyons house was very ornate with high ceilings which made it look very posh and grand. Mrs Johnstone’s house on the other hand was the total opposite.
It was a small terraced council house with red brick and was a bit scruffy. She also mentioned in the play that all her furniture was from a catalogue. The showed the status of the of the different families very well. Flies, (part of the set) were flown in, for example a for sale sign which showed that many people were losing money, so they couldn’t afford their mortgage, so they had to sell their house. When Mickey and Linda went back to a council estate the old back wall came down which resembled their old life coming back again.Order now
Their house had an old second hand chair in it and a picture drawn by their daughter in the kitchen. The lighting was also key in communicating to the audience the location and atmosphere. An example of this is the sunset at the end of the Johnston’s life on the council estate followed by a sunny “bright new day” in the countryside. The lightning was very bright and yellow to symbolise the sign of hope and the new experience they were about to discover. At the beginning of the production red light was used.
Red is the colour of anger and in most cases blood. So being used in that scene the lightning could represent the blood shed, also there were wavy lines so that could also be represented with blood. In the scene where Mrs Lyons was saying what she could offer Mrs Johnstone’s unborn child a gobo was being used of a flower pattern. The lighting colours were pinks and reds. It gave the impression that they were both looking through tinted flower spectacles. A gobo was also used when Linda visited Mickey in jail; it was in the shape of the jail bars.
Aspects such as lighting and other special effects such as sound were used throughout the production to help create dramatic tension. One strong example when I felt really tense in the audience was the drug scene between Linda and Mickey. There were dramatic changes in the lighting and to red at one point. There was an increase in pace leading to the climatic moment then followed by silence, which really drawed the audience in. The atmosphere was very tense which was caused by the tense body language between the two characters on stage.
Special effects were used right through the musical from when Eddie, Mickey and Linda were throwing stones when they were younger and you could hear the stones hitting the objects. They were also used when they all arrived at the countryside, the sounds of the birds and cows in the fields. At the end of the production special effects were also used when the gunshots were fired. Working in conjunction with all these aspects to create atmosphere and emotion was the music.
Specific songs were used at key moments in the musical to emphasise a situation or emotion. The sad and emotional ” Tell Me Its Not True” directly affected me. It was such a sorrowful song about a mother asking if it was real, that her two children had died. It was full of emotion and made the atmosphere very downcast and forlorn. I though the Blood Brothers was a fantastic musical and I would definitely like to see it again. I really enjoyed the beginning of the production as it didn’t give too much away about the rest of the play and it kept you guessing.
Blood Brothers is still relevant to people today as the different classes are still existent and your job still depends on your background. I saw the play before at the Phoenix Theatre in London and I thought it was much better there than at the New Wimbledon Theatre. I think that was because of the compactness in the Phoenix. It kept all the atmosphere together and as an audience we experienced the characters rollercoaster of emotions together. The overall message that the production left me thinking about was that you have to except people for who they are and that family is very important.