21 Belvoir Rd
Cheshire WA4 6PE
Phone: +44 7725 234022 Facebook Twitter Instagram Youtube

Blood Brothers


Written by Willy Russell, the legendary Blood Brothers tells the captivating and moving tale of twins who, separated at birth, grow up on opposite sides of the tracks, only to meet again with fateful consequences.

The superb score includes Bright New Day, Marilyn Monroe and the emotionally charged hit Tell Me It’s Not True.

Few musicals have received quite such acclaim as the multi-award winning BLOOD BROTHERS.

Bill Kenwright’s production surpassed 10,000 performances in London’s West End, one of only three musicals ever to achieve that milestone. It has been affectionately christened the ‘Standing Ovation Musical’, as inevitably it “brings the audience cheering to its feet and roaring its approval” (The Daily Mail).

The superb score includes Bright New Day, Marilyn Monroe and the emotionally charged hit Tell Me It’s Not True.

Please note: production images feature a previous cast.

Age guidance: - 12+ No Under 5s allowed in venue. Under 16s must be accompanied at all times by an adult (18+)

Blood Brothers Tickets

Sorry, there are no tickets for Blood Brothers in London available at the moment. This maybe due to one of the following reasons:
  • - Blood Brothers in London tickets are currently not on sale.
  • - The event has sold out.
  • - Details have not yet been announced for Blood Brothers in London.
  • - The event may have been cancelled.
  • - The event has been and gone.
Join our free mailing list for
updates about this event

Our review on Blood Brothers

Blood Brothers - The Lowry, Salford - Tuesday 18th October 2022 by Karen Ryder

Our Rating

It isn’t even a year since Blood Brothers was last in Manchester, breaking hearts and entertaining audiences all at the same time.  Yet I find that everyone I speak to has rebooked to go and watch it again, this time in Salford, because they simply cannot get enough of this deeply moving story with its heartfelt music, funny bones, and Northern humour.  So, I’ve asked before and I’ll ask again;


“Did you ever hear the story of the Johnstone twins?”


It seems everyone has a personal connection or story to share regarding Blood Brothers, whether they’ve read it at school like the many school groups in tonight, know the music, know parts of the script, or have gone to watch it for the star turn who happened to be performing.  People will recall and share with delight the first time they saw it and how they are still moved by it now.  So why all the fuss?  Because this is one of the most popular and accessible musicals out there.  People who proclaim they hate musical theatre will happily sell their own kidney to get a ticket to see this show (well, ok, maybe not – but you get what I mean.  NB – Other organs are available!)  It is a musical that represents different walks of life, allows us to engage in the same story but from different characters viewpoints and different ages, and shows us just how fragile life can be depending on the choices we make.  It has humanity at its very core, exploring class division, love, life, friendship, and family.



Blood Brothers takes place in 1960’s Liverpool.  Life is tough, jobs are scarce, and community is everything.  When Mrs. Johnstone falls pregnant again, and her husband leaves her for a Marilyn Monroe lookalike, she knows that she simply cannot make ends meet.  As she is cleaning for wealthy homeowner Mrs. Lyons, she listens to her grief at not being able to have children.  The answer seems obvious when you are desperate.  Mrs. Johnstone has too many children to feed, Mrs. Lyons has none.  In a contemporary tale of nature versus nurture, we watch as twin brothers Mickey and Eddie are separated at birth, one brought up with wealth, the other without.  When they meet as children, an instant bond is formed, though they have little idea of who they truly are to each other.  Sealing their friendship with a blood pact, they become blood brothers and set in motion a series of events that intertwines their lives forever.  As Mrs. Johnstone discovers who Mickey’s new friend really is, she is torn between keeping them apart and welcoming her long lost son with open arms.  But Mrs. Lyons has no such issue and does everything she can to destroy any chance of the happiness they may bring each other.  Guilt, anger, loss, and love form a dangerous cocktail of emotions and one bad choice, or one bad lie can set you on a path of self-destruction.  We watch helplessly as Mickey is ground down into a deep depression, whilst Eddie seems to thrive.  Does fate rule our lives, or are we the epitome of our own choices?  The young Mickey and Eddie that we meet, so full of life and joy, have no idea that their past will determine their future and end in tragedy.  It is heart-breaking.



The show dramatically opens drenched in red light, symbolic of the blood pact, the blood spilt, and the looming danger.  Echoes of the songs to come whisper and crescendo throughout the theatre, building momentum via a spine tingling orchestra.  Electric drums match your own heartbeat as the actors solemnly make their way on stage to ‘begin at the end’.  We are forewarned that this show will end in tragedy, but it does nothing to ease its impact when it occurs.  Mickey and Eddie are lain out, respectfully covered by a sheet, whilst Mrs. Johnstone and the Narrator guide us through the opening of the show, setting the scene of her circumstances and edging ever closer to the moment that seven-year-old Mickey bursts onto the stage playing Cowboys and Indians.  This sudden gear change gives you a false sense of security that the show won’t really go there.  Surely it can’t take away this young boy fizzing with imagination, energy and the pure innocence of youth?  Surely it can’t allow anything bad to happen to these children?  But they are not children when it happens and the fact that we see their story from them being youngsters is an interesting psychological insight into why is breaks you so much.  If we had merely picked the story up from Mickey and Eddie being adults, would we feel as distraught?  Would we offer judgement instead of empathy?  Would we blame them instead of routing for them?


There is so much to love about Blood Brothers that it’s hard to pick out best bits, because that implies that there are bits that aren’t as good, and every second of this musical has been cleverly planned out so that none of it is wasted, secondary, or worthy of being called anything less than a best bit.  There are moments which always seem to stick in my mind though, moments of detail, such as Mickey hiding under his oversized and over stretched sweater vest, crying at the cruelty of his older brother humiliating him in front of their friends.  A washing line strung across the stage with several baby grows to represent Mrs. Johnstone’s expanding family, or Mickey feeding his pretend horse to make sure he doesn’t go hungry before he is dragged by his ear for a telling off.  Hilarious and unexpected one liners delivered by Mickey and Eddie as children, key moments of letting the audience in on the joke such as when the milkman doubles up to play the doctor and references this fact with a joke, and the energy provided in numbers such as ‘Kids Game’ that all ages can relate to as we follow the bizarre but serious rules that kids make up for their street games, and the eerie parallels that seem to have followed through into our adult lives.  The ‘Our Sammy’ monologue, which was performed superbly, and again drew the audience in as Mickey came and sat right on the edge of the stage, and the emotion inducing moments such as ‘Easy Terms’ and ‘Tell Me It’s Not True’.  Blood Brothers doesn’t politely try to invite you into its story, it grabs you by the scruff of the neck and shouts in your face.  It delivers humanity at its best and worst and holds a mirror up to all of us.  You will laugh, you will cry, you will jump, you may even scream, but you will not forget the night you went to watch Blood Brothers.



After seeing Niki Colwell Evans (X Factor, Kinky Boots, previous Blood Brothers production, Legally Blonde) perform as Mrs. Johnstone early this year, and still not being over the experience, I was thrilled to see her in the role again this evening.  I honestly didn’t think it possible, but she has got even better!  Her portrayal of grief broke me.  It truly broke me.  I felt everything I was supposed to feel through her performance, and it was so realistic the girl next to me turned to her partner and asked him, “Is she actually ok?”  A raw and moving portrayal of a mum who loves her kids so desperately that the worst answer seems like the only answer to make sure they are all provided for.    


Richard Munday (Mamma Mia, The Mikado, Phantom) is a strong presence as the Narrator.  Intimidating, threatening, and brutally honest, this is one of the best portrayals I have seen.  Audiences often giggle at the Narrator as they try and work out the purpose of the role, but tonight Munday kept us all well within his grasp and guided us throughout, ensuring the darkness of what had happened was never to be lost in the fun and frivolity.  He holds a mirror up to Mrs. Johnstone and Mrs. Lyons, ensuring they can never escape their actions, and therefore ensuring that we never forget.  He commands with a look, a sneer, a hand held out, a body block.  It is an impressive performance.



Mickey was performed by the amazing Sean Jones (The Turnip Field, Macbeth, resident comic at The Floral Pavilion New Brighton).  It truly struck me tonight what a demanding part Mickey really is. From an impish seven-year-old boy full of enthusiasm and verve, right through to the chronically depressed, drug dependent adult he becomes, Jones makes Mickey accessible and understandable every step of the way.  You can’t help but fall in love with the cheeky rogue that bursts onto the stage on the back of an invisible horse, and through his carefully crafted and detailed storytelling, Jones keeps our loyalty with Mickey throughout his whole harrowing journey.  His is such a talent that you can be forgiven for forgetting that the tragic figure by the end is the same actor who started out spitting in the air then rolling it around in his jumper.  Fantastically believable.


Eddie was brought to adorable life by Jay Worley (Jack & The Beanstalk, The Santa Trap, Casualty).  He was endearing, charming, and full of youthful innocence.  He was able to flip from humour, to tears, to compassion, and your heart broke for him just as much as it did for Mickey.  Worley found the ying to Jones’ yang and their creative partnership underpinned the entire show.  Carly Burns (Hairspray, Tommy, Cinderella) completed the complicated love triangle as Linda.  Funny, light-hearted, serious, and sassy, Burns was a strong female presence who distinguished her different relationships with Mickey and Eddie beautifully.  Paula Tappenden as Mrs. Lyons bravely showed us an honest descent into the loss of her mind, while Tim Churchill as Mr. Lyons juxtaposed this with a detached and dismissive nature.  They made a great team.  Timothy Lucas as Sammy was wild, untamed and a little scary – even as a youngster, which is exactly what Sammy is supposed to be, and this had to be believable to allow us to buy into how Mickey ended up in the position he did.  Lucas certainly made this believable from the get-go.



The set is a piece of art, truly placing you in those Liverpool streets, with terraced houses lining the side of the stage, the warm glow of lights beaming out from an extremely busy working family home.  The contrast to detail given to the Lyons home is brilliant – even the space it is afforded on stage, captures the difference in class and helps guide our thought process.  Backdrops are layered in through the opening sequence, with graffitied walls, wrought iron bridges, over a Liverpool skyline that slowly wakes up.  Blue flashing lights depict a police presence.  The empty and derelict area highlights the life that Mrs. Johnstone and Mickey have.  Multiple levels are used as balconies, drawing our eyes in every direction and as the timeline unfolds, sets are dropped in which take us to the fair, the country, prison and the council.  It is quick, effective and helps guide the story.


I have seen Blood Brothers four times now, and every time it has been to a busy and enthusiastic audience.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – it is a British institution.  I implore you to watch Blood Brothers because if nothing else, it will highlight that even if life throws a pile of doo dah at you, it is the choice that you make in response to the doo dah that seals your fate, not the doo dah itself.  Had Mickey have made a different choice regarding helping Sammy, the story would have ended differently.  Had Mrs. Johnstone made a different choice regarding her circumstances, or Mrs. Lyons chosen not to voice her maternal needs, we may not all be left sat in the audience ugly crying at the ending.  Sometimes, life sucks, there is no escaping that.  Blood Brothers allows you to question how our response to that suckiness can alter our path and impact our lives.  The injustice involved leaves you reeling so much that it is impossible to overlook the questions running round your head, and the various alternative ways your mind is probably screaming out that things could have been handled.  I’ve never viewed the show this way before which just goes to show that Blood Brothers always has something to say, always has something to teach you, and will always provide you with a different experience depending on your own current circumstances or mind set at the time of watching.  I’d say that is why audiences return time and time again to watch this beautifully penned show by the incomparable Willy Russell.  It never fails to deliver, it never fails to entertain and it never fails to make you appreciate everything you have in life.





Our review on Blood Brothers

Blood Brothers - Palace Theatre, Manchester - Tuesday 15th February 2022 by Karen Ryder

Our Rating

“Did you ever hear the story of the Johnstone twins?”

When I was young, I saw “Tell me it’s not true” performed at the Royal Variety on television.  This was my first taste of the Johnstone twins story and as well as blubbing uncontrollably, I was also instantly hooked by the trumpet accompaniment, as I was learning the instrument at the time.  So of course, my next brass lesson, I fancied myself as a bit of an expert and was all over that melody, convinced I was ready to step in should their trumpet player fall ill.  Of course, it probably sounded more like a fog horn / strangled cat duet but a little thing like reality wasn’t going to deter me.  Fast forward nine or so years and I got the chance to play it correctly whilst at university in a musicals revue.  My inner mini me was beaming.  In more recent years, I have guided many a GCSE drama student through the play, and only two days ago I was tutoring a student for a graded exam with his chosen piece from Blood Brothers“Our Sammy.”  Why am I telling you all this?  I did forget my point halfway through my trip down memory lane to be honest (it’s been that kind of day) but basically it’s to show just how big the appeal of this show is, from young children, to teenagers, to adults and beyond.  I’ve loved this show at every age – possibly because every stage of life is represented in the show.  Its humourous to heart wrenching storyline, unbelievably catchy songs, solid Northern humour, and it’s unique approach of storytelling, all blend into a brilliantly bittersweet bloomin’ great show.


Blood Brothers
is one of the most successful musicals of its time, consistently pulling in audiences whether they’re seeing the show for the tenth time or being wowed for the first time.  It is a show with humanity at its very core, exploring class division, love, life, friendship, family, and how fragile it can all be.  Just one lie can shatter all that you hold dear.  Set in 1960’s Liverpool, twin brothers Mickey and Eddie are separated at birth, one brought up with wealth, the other without.  Through chance, or fate, they meet as children and become the best of friends, sealing their bond with blood.  Little do they know it is shared blood that runs through their veins.  As they grow older they lose touch, but fate intervenes and once again they are drawn together as adults and as blood brothers.  They have no idea that their past will determine their future and end in tragedy.


The show opens with a pure drama.  The stage is flood lit in symbolic red to the slowly building echo of “Tell me It’s not true.”  Characters solemnly make their way on stage to ‘begin at the end’, giving us a glimpse of what is to become of our blood brothers Mickey and Eddie. Mrs. Johnstone and the Narrator guide us through the opening of the show, setting the scene of her circumstances and edging ever closer to the moment that seven-year-old Mickey bursts onto the stage playing Cowboys and Indians, with the fizzing imagination, energy and pure innocence of youth. 


Mickey was played by understudy Josh Capper (Hound Of The Baskervilles, Dreamboats and Petticoats, High School Musical).  He was incredible!  Capper transformed the character of Mickey at every stage of his life, from a seven-year-old (even though he’s nearly eight!) to a twenty-something year old.  He was funny, loveable, innocent and charming as a child, cheeky, witty and playful as a teenager, and heartbreakingly, beaten and broken as an adult - a victim of class, circumstance and desperation.  


Eddie was portrayed by Joel Benedict (previous Blood Brothers tour, Spamalot, Hearts) and juxtaposed Mickey to perfection. Again, he endeared us to his character as we watched him grow up and discover fun and freedom through his friendship with Mickey.  Benedict made you love Eddie just as much as Mickey through his ability to see beyond class and see the person, unlike his mum and dad.  Finishing off the tragic trio was Carly Burns (Tommy, Cinderella) as Linda.  She was a beautiful blend of silly to sassy as she grew up and supported Capper and Benedict in their roles with respect yet she was never over shadowed.

Niki Evans (X Factor, Kinky Boots, previous Blood Brothers production, Legally Blonde) was outstanding as Mrs. Johnstone.  It became clear at the interval that I was sat amongst many die-hard Blood Brothers fans and their statement was “Best Mrs. Johnstone ever!”  Her emotional range was never ending and she didn’t half take us on a roller coaster of a journey, leaving virtually everyone gulping for air through their sobs as she started off the finale. Incredible.


Robbie Scotcher
(Mamma Mia, Chess, Guys and Dolls) was the Narrator, a tricky part that does exactly what is says on the tin, but it is so much more.  Some audience members didn’t seem to know how to take this part and giggled as he seemingly randomly appeared on stage at any given moment, but I didn’t see it as random at all.  He was always there because he was holding up a mirror to Mrs. Johnstone and Mrs. Lyons, ensuring they could never escape their own conscience, their own guilt, and though they may hide their secret from the world, the Narrator reminded them and us that they could never hide it from themselves.  He was both a welcome and intimidating presence.

Blood Brothers will bleed you dry of every imaginable emotion.  There are moments of pure simple honesty, such as Mickey hiding under his oversized and over stretched sweater vest, crying at the cruelty of his older brother humiliating him infront of their friends.  There are blasts of hilarity with the unexpected but spot on one liners delivered as only kids can.  There are some of the most intricate human songs you will ever hear, moments you can hear a pin drop, finished off with shocks, tears, laughter and nostalgia.  It reaches out and touches you because it’s writer, Willy Russell, is a genius.


Blood Brothers
is a British institution and its no shock that the theatre was utterly packed.  Tonight's performance was loved and appreciated so much that the cast were only able to leave the stage after about ten curtain calls to a full house of standing ovations from the audience.  I feel wrung out, but more appreciative of my lot in life, because if I’ve learnt anything tonight it’s that split decisions can change your life beyond recognition. We should never take anything for granted because any one of us could find ourselves, by chance, fate, or circumstance, as tomorrows cautionary tale.   

“Did you ever hear the story of the Johnstone twins?”

Whether the answer to that is yes or no, you should definitely go and hear it regardless because it is one story that certainly won’t become tomorrow's chip paper!


Follow Us
Join Our Free Mailing List