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Review: Glyndwr Uni’s Adaptation of Blood Brothers

It’s a trip to the Catrin Finch Centre as Glyndwr’s Theatre, Television and Performance students open their annual Christmas production, this year see an adaptation of Blood Brothers.

By the Egwyl Team | @EgwylMag

It’s an adaptation of the Willy Russell classic, Blood Brothers. Separated at birth, the story follows two contrasting worlds. One is high class while the other is poor and bare, all set in Liverpool.

We love how the set depicts two sides of the social spectrum, that is almost a story in itself. There are brick walls coated in graffiti, all juxtaposed by a posh abode.

Mrs Johnstone (Sarah Leanne Davies) arrives to the set, ensemble behind her, with a fantastic opening number. Taking on one of the leading roles, Davies shines throughout, bringing comedy, emotion and drama in equal amounts. Her passion for the part is obvious and she nails the Liverpudlian accent perfectly.

Her boss, Mrs Lyons (Isabella Provenzano), is unable to have children of her own. When she hears about Mrs Johnstone’s pregnancy, she hatches a plan, persuading her to give up one of the twins and her wish is granted. Representing the upper side of life, Mrs Lyons is a classy lady. Her costumes are as elegant as her voice. But as paranoia takes its toll, Mrs Lyons will do anything to keep her family safe.

From the get go, there is a lovely childhood journey following Mickey (Louis Coppell), a stereotypical young boy from a Liverpool estate, and Edward (Mark Ryan Hughes), from a grand house with his rich parents. Mickey has a boyish charm while Edward wears some very stylish attire (he reminds us of Prince George!). They both teach each other new things, well, mainly Mickey teaching Edward how to swear! Watching their transition from young boys, to teenagers to men, is interesting. There’s a switch, the fun slowly fades away and jealousy takes over.     

There’s a great relationship between Mickey and Linda (Sophie Goodall), their on/off romance provides some laughs and frustrations. Goodall, like Davies, captures the essence of the character with such a brilliant scouse accent. Having seen Goodall in last year’s adaptation of Alice in Wonderland, it’s lovely to see Goodall take on one of the leading roles, she doesn’t disappoint.

Aside from the marvelous acting, the musical outbursts add to the atmosphere, whether it be a duet between Mickey and Edward or a powerful number from Mrs Johnstone and the ensemble, this is all accompanied by a live band, visible from stage left.

It’s a brilliant production by the students and their amazing creative crew. Having seen the development from the rehearsal room to the stage, it’s evident how much hard work everyone has put into making this a memorable Christmas production.

Blood Brothers runs until December 9 at the Catrin Finch Centre. Tickets and more information can be found here.

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