Bill Kenwright’s ‘Dazzling’ (Sunday Telegraph) production of the international smash hit musical Blood Brothers returns this summer with a three-week season at Cork Opera House from 5 August before embarking on a UK tour.
‘The definitive Mrs Johnstone’ (Manchester Evening News) Lyn Paul returns to the iconic role for the final time. Having first played her in 1997 and on numerous tours, Lyn played Mrs Johnstone in the final West End performances at the Phoenix Theatre in 2012. She has also starred in the UK tour of Cabaret in 2013 as Fraulein Schneider, in Boy George’s musical Taboo and in Footloose - the Musical.
Lyn said: “I am beyond thrilled to be returning to BLOOD BROTHERS in this iconic role. I'm honoured to have been given the opportunity to undertake this "Farewell Tour" by my good friend, Bill Kenwright. It's such a privilege to be able to play Mrs Johnstone one final time”.
Lyn rose to fame in the early 1970s as a member of the New Seekers. She was the featured vocalist on their 1972 Eurovision Song Contest entry, ‘Beg, Steal or Borrow’ and lead vocalist on the 1974 number-one hit ‘You Won’t Find Another Fool Like Me’. The groups biggest hit was ‘I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing’, adapted from an advertising jingle for Coca-Cola, which sold over 20 million copies and remains one of the 100 best-selling singles in the UK.
Further casting for the tour will be announced in due course.
Considered ‘One of the best musicals ever written’ (Sunday Times), Blood Brothers, written by award-winning playwright Willy Russell has triumphed across the Globe. Scooping up no fewer than four awards for Best Musical in London and seven Tony Award nominations on Broadway, Blood Brothers is simply ‘Unmissable and unbeatable’ (The Spectator).
This epic tale of Liverpool life started as a play, performed at a Liverpool comprehensive school in 1981 before opening at the Liverpool Playhouse in 1983. It has since completed sell out seasons in the US, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Japan and ran in London’s West End for 24 years, exceeding 10,000 performances. One of only three musicals ever to achieve that milestone.
Blood Brothers tells the moving story of twin boys separated at birth, only to be reunited by a twist of fate and a mother’s haunting secret. The memorable score includes A Bright New Day, Marilyn Monroe and the emotionally charged hit Tell Me It’s Not True.
When Mrs Johnstone, a young mother, is deserted by her husband and left to her own devices to provide for seven hungry children she takes a job as a housekeeper in order to make ends meet.
It is not long before her brittle world crashes around her when she discovers herself to be pregnant yet again – this time with twins! In a moment of weakness and desperation, she enters a secret pact with her employer which leads inexorably to the show’s shattering climax. A sensational cast, brilliant book, show stopping music, remarkable staging and five-star performances make Blood Brothers an enthralling night of entertainment.
Willy Russell is one of this country’s leading contemporary dramatists. His theatre credits include Educating Rita, Shirley Valentine, Breezeblock Park and Our Day Out. Educating Rita, originally commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company, enjoyed a two-year run in the West End and was made into a film starring Michael Caine and Julie Walters. Shirley Valentine also made the move from stage to screen in an enormously popular film starring Pauline Collins and Tom Conti.
Bill Kenwright presents
By Willy Russell
Directed by Bob Tomson and Bill Kenwright
Designed by Andy Walmsley Sound Designed By Dan Samson
Musical Direction by Kelvin Towse Lighting Designed by Nick Richings
BLOOD BROTHERS - 2019 TOUR DATES
Tuesday 6 August – Saturday 17 August Box Office: +353 (21) - 427 0022
Cork Opera House Website: www.corkoperahouse.ie
Tuesday 27 August – Saturday 31 August Box Office: 01227 787787
Canterbury, The Marlowe Website: www.marlowetheatre.com
Tuesday 3 September – Saturday 14 September Box Office: 0844 871 7615
Liverpol Empire Website: www.atgtickets.com/venues/liverpool-empire
Tuesday 17 September – Saturday 28 September Box Office: 029 2087 8889
Cardiff, New Theatre Website: www.newtheatrecardiff.co.uk
Monday 30 September – Saturday 12 October Box Office: 0844 338 5000
Birmingham Hippodrome Website: www.birminghamhippodrome.com
Monday 14 October – Saturday 19 October Box Office: 01332 59 39 39
Derby Theatre Website: www.derbytheatre.co.uk
Tuesday 22 October – Saturday 26 October Box Office: 01482 300306
Hull New Theatre Website: www.hulltheatres.co.uk
Monday 28 October – Saturday 2 November Box Office: 0844 871 7615
Grand Opera House, York Website: www.atgtickets.com/venues/grand-opera-house-york
Tuesday 5 November – Saturday 9 November Box Office: 01270 368 242
Crewe Lyceum Website: www.crewelyceum.co.uk
Tuesday 12 November – Saturday 16 November Box Office: 01424 462 288
Hastings, White Rock Theatre Website: www.whiterocktheatre.org.uk
Tuesday 19 November – Saturday 23 November Box Office: 01322 220000
Dartford, Orchard Theatre Website: www.orchardtheatre.co.uk