Birmingham Hippodrome – until 6 November 2021
Reviewed by Joanne Hodge
Phenomenal!!! If Lyn Paul (formerly of The New Seekers) could teach the world to sing, it would be a much happier place. Lyn leads the cast, playing the role of Mrs. Johnstone, in telling the story of twin boys separated at birth, who grow up ‘on opposite sides of the tracks.’ Chance brings them back together and after immediately hitting it off, Mickey & Edward (Eddie) make a pact to be ‘blood brothers’, neither of them aware of their genuine blood ties.
Bill Kenwright (Producer) and Bob Tomson (Director) have made an incredible job of bringing Willie Russell’s tale to life, delivering a very emotive performance in a simple but effective stage setting. The left side of the stage depicts the poorer, working-class families, the right side, the wealthier, upper-class lifestyle, and their larger houses; the center where two worlds collide.
There is a rawness to the performances of all cast members, which draws the audience into the lives of the Johnstone family and their acquaintances; it addresses complex subjects such as class, economic status and Mental Health issues very effectively and realistically.
A thoroughly enjoyable performance which provides clear evidence of why this play is known as the “Standing Ovation Musical”, with everyone delivering rapturous applause and a number of tears shed.