Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Theatre Review: Blood Brothers (New Theatre Oxford Saturday 14 September)

2013 and 1998!
I can't remember how many times I have seen Blood Brothers - this was either my fourth or fifth time but it was the second time I've seen it in Oxford.

My friend and I got "restricted viewing" seats in row C of the stalls which were amazing seats and I took the one right on the end of the row which despite being to one side, had fantastic leg room. I haven't seen Blood Brothers for a while but I know the soundtrack by heart and as it's one of my favourite shows I got the shivers when the music started.

It was a treat to see Warwick Evans again, back in the role of the Narrator. Evans belts out his lines and the Narrator's constant presence on the stage is both a comfort and strangely menacing. This show wouldn't exist without him and he is worth keeping an eye on, wherever he is lurking on set.

Maureen Nolan was fantastic as Mrs J, especially in the second half. (I had previously seen Bernie Nolan play this role in Oxford in 1998. x)

My absolute favourite role in this show is always Mickey and every time I have seen it the actors who play him have the amazing ability to transform from a cute "almost eight" through adolescence to adulthood and be convincing at every age, Sean Jones was no exception and a joy to watch, as were Mark Hutchinson as Eddie and Olivia Sloyan as Linda.

I will definitely see this show again one day, and could quite happily watch this cast again as they were brilliant. A lot of the actors in this show play multiple roles and the amount of people on stage at the end never ceases to amaze me, as there seem so few of them. It must be an exhausting show to be in!

There was a very well-deserved standing ovation on Saturday evening. I've never seen the whole of the stalls on their feet so quickly before.

Star rating: 5+.  A firm favourite.

Book seats for Blood Brothers here.

Follow my Entertainment list on Twitter, which includes some of the cast and crew from this show.


  1. We saw it for the first time on the Monday night in Oxford. Perhaps our expectations were too high - everyone raves about it - and I'm pretty certain the sound team will have had a roasting at the end of the evening as there were definite issues with the balance, but by the end we just thought it was ok. I agree with you about MIckey, the portrayal of the child and his subsequent ageing was extremely well done, and we thought Maureen Nolan was good too. However, the Narrator didn't work for us - possibly the sound issues spoiled it, but he seemed ill at ease on the stage, which given his experience in the role is a little surprising! A shame, as we had been looking forward to it. So many people have said what a good show it is, I can only assume the cast and crew were having an off-night. I'm glad for your sake that they were on better form on the Saturday. :-)

  2. I saw it on September 16th, in Llandudno, and thought Warwick Evans as the narrator was sublime. Amazing stage presence, powerful voice and somewhat flippin' sexy too!