Blood Brothers is a play based in Liverpool during the 1980’s. The play involves two main characters Edward Lyons and Mickey Johnstone. These two men were actually twins but never knew it until just before their death. Both children were actually split at birth, because Mrs Johnston could not afford to keep both children. During her pregnancy Mrs Johnstone worked as a cleaner for Mr and Mrs Lyons who was struggling to have kids of their own. When Mrs Johnstone found out she was having twins Mrs Lyons knew she could not afford to keep them both.
Whilst Mr Lyons was away with his work, Mrs Lyons decided to secretly buy a child from Mrs Johnstone and this seemed to be the perfect solution for both of their trouble although Mrs Johnstone was unsure of this rather strange ordeal. The Johnstone family was a poor family. Mrs Johnstone was a single mother with 8 children including Mickey. Mickey was the youngest of all the children and received hand me down’s from older brothers like Sammy. As Mickey grew up he soon caught on from his older brothers what his life was going to be like.Order now
Mickey probably learned more abusive language before he mastered the alphabet and was soon to be known down the local ‘nick’. However Edward was the complete opposite his family lived in a mansion compared to Mickey’s small terraced house. Edward had everything he could ever want a father bringing home cash by the thousands and a caring mother at home all day to care and look after him. Edward lived with no other children so two loving parents always focused the attention on him. Edward’s dad worked away a lot and didn’t seem to see Edward that much but this didn’t seem to alter Edward’s life
As they grew up Mickey and Edward very bizarrely became friends which didn’t suit either parents. Mickey and Edward seemed to envy each others lives Mickey would have loved to have been rich and powerful, where as Edward liked the idea of the ruff and tumble lifestyle. Edward and Mickey were also close friends with a young girl called Linda, however as there hormones grew so did their feelings for Linda although Linda was undoubtedly in love with Mickey. Edward kept stump about his feelings for Linda till later on in the play.
Mickey and Linda were always good friends and that soon progressed into a loving relationship. Edward always had a good relationship with his mother and farther at a young age, but when he met Mickey he soon resented his mother for not allowing him to be friends with Mickey. Edward soon started to put the absurd language he had learnt of Mickey into play especially when he called his mother a “FUCK OFF” Mickey had a bizarre relationship with his mother he always loved and understood she was doing everything she could to make his and his brother’s lives better.
Towards the end of the play Mickey began to resent his mother when he found out she gave Edward his twin brother away towards the climax to the twin’s death he said “You why didn’t you give me away” “I could have been him” Edward left to go to university leaving Mickey and Linda all alone. Edward met many new friends at university whilst Mickey and Linda got married. Everything was going right for Mickey h a beautiful wife a boring but paying job and a new born on the way. Although things were about to change Mickey’s monthly pay check had been stopped and Linda was getting closer to having birth how could they manage.
When Edward came home from university in the summer holidays he met back up with Mickey but Mickey who was getting fed up of his money and posh accent told him to sling his hook. Shortly after Eddie’s appearance Mickey is really hard up and decides to rob the local garage with Sammy his older brother but from hear onwards things seemed to go pear shaped. Whilst robbing the garage Sammy shot the shop owner in anger, and Mickey for being included in the crime got jailed for seven years. Stage Appearance Edward would be presented on stage as very posh and as an aristocrat his appearance would be probably exaggerated on stage.
He might have worn a smart suit and waistcoat and maybe even a bow tie He would also of had a very clean appearance. However Mickey would probably be the complete opposite wearing tatty old handed down clothes and a very mucky and untidy appearance. Edwards’s body language would have been very uptight and he would hold a very straight posture, unlike Mickey who would probably use his hands a lot whilst describing things and usually stoop whilst walking and standing. Edwards’s voice would probably be quite high pitched and he wouldn’t use any slang words he would speak quite slowly and have a very posh accent.
Although Mickey would have a more relaxed using slang words. Mickey would probably have a deeper tone of voice than Edward. Both of the characters facial expressions would change throughout the play, However Edward’s facial expressions would probably not express much emotion. Mickey’s expression would be more emotional. Edward acts in these kinds of ways because he has been brought up In a different background to Mickey. He has been bought up in a large house with posh surroundings and a wealthy family, where as Mickey has been bought up by a single mother struggling for food never mind luxuries which Edward sees as necessities.
Mrs Johnstone was known for getting in debt with catalogues and especially with the milkman as we see here “You owe me three pounds, seventeen and four pence an either you up today, like now or I’ll be forced to cut your deliveries. ” All in all Edward comes from a posh background and you can tell this in his language and appearance. Edwards’s language is perfect “well my mummy doesn’t allow me to play down here actually” where as Mickey come form a poor background and his language is much more relaxed “gis’ a sweet” for example.
Since an early age Edward was always expected to do well in school and come out with a degree from university, which he succeeded in doing he was always top of the class in his private school and went to university and came out with a degree. His life was a great success he came out of university and got a job as a councillor receiving a high wage. However Mickey was not so lucky in life he struggled as a child and was a rebel in school he was never expected to go to university or get high paid job.
Although life did deal Mickey a bad set of cards he never really got the chance to have a stab at life his mother did her best to bring up her kids properly but struggled to succeed. Mickey did get a job at one point of the play this didn’t last long though, as he was soon fired and back on the dole. Everything from here just got worse including robbing the local garage and finally murder. Mickey wasn’t expected to do particular well in life but he was expected to struggle on by like his mother but things just didn’t plan out that way.
Language played an important role in this play especially the more absurd variety, which added to the overall effect of the difference between Mickey and Edward. The way Edward talks to Mickey at first is very posh and not like Mickey at all. “Pissed off. You say smashing things don’t you? Do you know any more words like that? ” This quote shows Edward is totally baffled by Mickey’s speech and has never heard words of such rudeness but he is intrigued and enjoys listening and learning this different culture’s language.
Edward’s language also confuses Mickey especially when Edward starts talking about the dictionary Mickey has never heard of the dictionary but tries to cover this up to aid his misfortune “the dictionary. Don’t you know what a dictionary is? ” Mickey is really confused and replies “Course I do… It’s a, thingy innit” Life in the early 1980’s didn’t help life especially for the poor with Margaret Thatcher cutting Liverpool’s budget making life worse for Mickey and his mother but they’re misfortune was aided by the Liverpool 47, who built thousands of extra houses and tried to improve benefits for the poor up until there imprisonment.
This didn’t affect Edward and his family as they were rich and wealthy and cared not for the poor, they had no understanding of money and other money related issues and this showed throughout the play. However Mickey was heavily affected by this a cut in Liverpool’s budget meant a cut in child allowances which drastically took affect on the poor causing panic stricken family’s including the Johnstone’s.