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Blood Brothers (Modern Classics)

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A Liverpudlian West Side Story: twin brothers are separated at birth because their mother cannot afford to keep them both. She gives one of them away to wealthy Mrs Lyons and they grow up as friends in ignorance of their fraternity until the inevitable quarrel unleashes a blood-bath. 'Willy Russell is less concerned with political tub-thumping than with weaving a close-kni A Liverpudlian West Side Story: twin brothers are separated at birth because their mother cannot afford to keep them both. She gives one of them away to wealthy Mrs Lyons and they grow up as friends in ignorance of their fraternity until the inevitable quarrel unleashes a blood-bath. 'Willy Russell is less concerned with political tub-thumping than with weaving a close-knit story about the working of fate and destiny ... it carries one along with it in almost unreserved enjoyment" Guardian One of the longest-running and most successful ever West End musicals, Blood Brothers premiered at the Liverpool Playhouse in January 1983.


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A Liverpudlian West Side Story: twin brothers are separated at birth because their mother cannot afford to keep them both. She gives one of them away to wealthy Mrs Lyons and they grow up as friends in ignorance of their fraternity until the inevitable quarrel unleashes a blood-bath. 'Willy Russell is less concerned with political tub-thumping than with weaving a close-kni A Liverpudlian West Side Story: twin brothers are separated at birth because their mother cannot afford to keep them both. She gives one of them away to wealthy Mrs Lyons and they grow up as friends in ignorance of their fraternity until the inevitable quarrel unleashes a blood-bath. 'Willy Russell is less concerned with political tub-thumping than with weaving a close-knit story about the working of fate and destiny ... it carries one along with it in almost unreserved enjoyment" Guardian One of the longest-running and most successful ever West End musicals, Blood Brothers premiered at the Liverpool Playhouse in January 1983.

30 review for Blood Brothers (Modern Classics)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    I have no words for how this made me feel. It was beautiful, amazing, and heartbreaking.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Casey

    (Start and finish dates not accurate, but the year of read is accurate)

  3. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    Love this! Studied it for GCSE and really enjoyed it! So many themes and well developed characters as well as great songs

  4. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    It was good until the ending. The ending sucked.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Becki Sims

    I read this because my son was studying it at school. I really enjoyed it and would like to see it on stage.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Grace

    I don't really read a lot of plays/musicals and if I do read them, they aren't usually in this genre. But during my GCSEs, this was one of the plays selected for me to study for my exams- so basically I was forced to read this. However, I was surprised that I did enjoy this a little. The things I most enjoyed about this was the little pieces of comedy, and how there was this whole superstition thing that tied the plot together. I really liked both of the brothers, but for me Linda was not my cup o I don't really read a lot of plays/musicals and if I do read them, they aren't usually in this genre. But during my GCSEs, this was one of the plays selected for me to study for my exams- so basically I was forced to read this. However, I was surprised that I did enjoy this a little. The things I most enjoyed about this was the little pieces of comedy, and how there was this whole superstition thing that tied the plot together. I really liked both of the brothers, but for me Linda was not my cup of tea... The relationship with the 2 mothers was also really interesting to see and their development was really enjoyable to witness- you could almost see them manipulating and breaking throughout different scenes. I also really enjoyed Sammie, he was quite comical, but also violent. The music in this too was a bit up and down, some songs were really enjoyable, but others not so much (they all fitted very nicely in the plot though, which was nice as other musicals sometimes don't fit music in nicely for me sometimes). I would recommend reading this to some, I also watched the play live with my school and I certainly would be lying if I say that I didn't enjoy myself that day.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Emily Browne

    I really really enjoyed this book. The first time I read this it was during my GCSE's. I loved it as much then as I still do now. I think it is really upsetting that as a mother she wasn't able to keep both her children because she simply couldn't afford too. I don't think that I would ever find myself strong enough to give one of my children up even if it was to go into a life of luxury. I found this to be quite fast paced which I loved. I'm really glad that I chose to reread this book. It is su I really really enjoyed this book. The first time I read this it was during my GCSE's. I loved it as much then as I still do now. I think it is really upsetting that as a mother she wasn't able to keep both her children because she simply couldn't afford too. I don't think that I would ever find myself strong enough to give one of my children up even if it was to go into a life of luxury. I found this to be quite fast paced which I loved. I'm really glad that I chose to reread this book. It is such a heartbreaking and tragic story. This is a brilliant piece of literature!

  8. 4 out of 5

    em

    good old GCSE English Lit

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Norton

    I know I have seen a production of this in my teens - a short, but powerful read. I think with the right group and in the right school this could be a great text for AQA English Literature Paper 2. There is some great method in the foreshadowing and superstition that runs through the action. Clearly, there is an opportunity to look at class and the idea of nature vs nurture. Certainly seems more engaging for a teenage audience than An Inspector Calls - albeit I enjoy teaching that text. I think i I know I have seen a production of this in my teens - a short, but powerful read. I think with the right group and in the right school this could be a great text for AQA English Literature Paper 2. There is some great method in the foreshadowing and superstition that runs through the action. Clearly, there is an opportunity to look at class and the idea of nature vs nurture. Certainly seems more engaging for a teenage audience than An Inspector Calls - albeit I enjoy teaching that text. I think it is somewhat more vital and relevant than Delaney’s ‘A Taste if Honey’ although I really enjoyed the national theatre revival of that play I saw in September last year. Another GCSE set text knocked off the list.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Olivia

    From reading many different various books and dramas, I have to say Blood Brothers is definitely one of my absolute favourites! Despite the heartbreak reading it, I truly loved the story and music!! The music brought so much life and motion into the play, and it made it so alive!! It was incredible and really enjoyable! The music represented the emotions and feelings of the characters. It showed us the readers an insight into what mood they were in such as tension, happiness and despair. I could From reading many different various books and dramas, I have to say Blood Brothers is definitely one of my absolute favourites! Despite the heartbreak reading it, I truly loved the story and music!! The music brought so much life and motion into the play, and it made it so alive!! It was incredible and really enjoyable! The music represented the emotions and feelings of the characters. It showed us the readers an insight into what mood they were in such as tension, happiness and despair. I could never put this book down, there was always something happening and it makes you want to read on! That is why it’s so brilliant, and it does show us the different aspects that can actually happen in life! I highly recommend this musical to everyone, an amazing story which blew me away, but also a heartbreaking one! One of my favourite musicals!!!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sukhy

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This play was amazing! It was beautiful, heartbreaking and reflective. A comedy that ends in a tragedy. The play discuss class issues and shows the harsh differences between a working-class woman and a 'rich' woman. A set of twins, one given away so he can have a better life, one trapped in the same vicious life as his mother. Their story is powerful and discusses a range of social issues that needed addressing. I absolutely love Willy Russell's plays and this one was no different. Highly recomm This play was amazing! It was beautiful, heartbreaking and reflective. A comedy that ends in a tragedy. The play discuss class issues and shows the harsh differences between a working-class woman and a 'rich' woman. A set of twins, one given away so he can have a better life, one trapped in the same vicious life as his mother. Their story is powerful and discusses a range of social issues that needed addressing. I absolutely love Willy Russell's plays and this one was no different. Highly recommed- cannot wait to teach it! 

  12. 5 out of 5

    Paige

    I am doing this story at school now for GCSES. In all honesty i havent read too many plays so i didnt really know what to expect. I finished this in about 1h 30mins and i actually quite enjoyed it! Probably wouldnt choose to read it because its not my thing- but as its a book from school, it wasnt too bad really! :)

  13. 5 out of 5

    Adi Rahman

    Best book

  14. 4 out of 5

    Euan Gepp

    Will forever be my favourite West End musical.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Tracey D

    I had no idea of this story so didn’t know what to expect, I don’t even know the air of the music!. Brilliant, I can only imagine it must be amazing to see on stage. Definitely on my to see list!!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Richard

    One of my favourite works of drama!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Mariam Abood

    This is one of my favourite plays of all time and far surpasses some "classic plays I have read. This play is raw and intricate because it touches upon issues that are relevant in today's society, and may always be relevant in today's society, contrary to Marxist belief. This play explores whether there is inherently much difference between the classes, or if we have just been conditioned to think there is. So the synopsis is a bit cheesy, two brothers who were separated at birth, to only meet ea This is one of my favourite plays of all time and far surpasses some "classic plays I have read. This play is raw and intricate because it touches upon issues that are relevant in today's society, and may always be relevant in today's society, contrary to Marxist belief. This play explores whether there is inherently much difference between the classes, or if we have just been conditioned to think there is. So the synopsis is a bit cheesy, two brothers who were separated at birth, to only meet each other again but not know they are brothers. Consequently, there is an irony to the title Blood Brothers and one of the play's major themes, which is friendship. Like The Boy in the Striped Pajamas this book has an endearing concept, the idea that friendship can arise between two children despite what there social standings in life may be. However, this play goes further than that, and explore whether or not this childhood friendship can last on until adult life, when prejudices within people start to become more apparent. As they grow older, the twins begin to realise that they are on completely different ends of the social spectrum. Eddie's extremely privileged background starts to pay off in later life as he is able to go to university, however Mickey is stuck in a dead end job and then later unemployment. This sort of reminded me of my time at school, because while I don't whole heartedly believe in meritocracy I do remember a lot of the kids in my class always refused to do work because they were adamant that they were going to get a job after school, and a lot of them now are stuck in dead-end jobs at 16 that they hate. This is not necessarily because they were lazy, but it was because that was what their entire family had done, so why should they have been any different? Thankfully however, not all kids stuck to this stereotype and a lot of them are doing well at A-level. Overall, a tragic read, and a good pick for school work or just for a bit of fun, seeing as this is a musical.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Chloë

    I saw the Blood Brothers musical a couple of years ago and have been interested in reading this ever since then, and it was surprisingly more enjoyable than I was expecting. Reading a script of a musical was certainly a new experience for me, but it was actually quite fun and the musical format acted as an interesting way in which to explore class concerns and prejudices. I listened to the soundtrack whilst I read the lyrics for each song, which I think enabled me to appreciate it more than if I I saw the Blood Brothers musical a couple of years ago and have been interested in reading this ever since then, and it was surprisingly more enjoyable than I was expecting. Reading a script of a musical was certainly a new experience for me, but it was actually quite fun and the musical format acted as an interesting way in which to explore class concerns and prejudices. I listened to the soundtrack whilst I read the lyrics for each song, which I think enabled me to appreciate it more than if I had just solely read the lyrics, which on their own do not bring the narrative to life very well. I really liked some of the songs, but there were a couple that were not so good, as the messages and meanings behind them were a bit too heavy-handed. The narrative structure was also a little weird, as the end of the story is shown at the very beginning and the Narrator also continually reminds the audience of  the eventual outcome of the story. While I understood the point of this, as it is central to the narrative, I did not particularly love it and would have probably preferred foreshadowing the outcome without revealing it completely first. Blood Brothers was actually more entertaining than I was expecting it to be. I enjoyed some of the songs, although others were a little forceful with their intended messages. Despite my enjoyment of this, I would definitely recommend watching a production of the musical before reading the book. Rating - 3/5 ★★★ There is also a link to this review on my blog here!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Bavita Rani

    This play. Lord, it was amazing! This is genuinely an amazing play to both read and watch, about a mother who has had to give up one of her twin son's because she cannot afford to keep him, only to find that the woman she sold him to, has banned her from seeing him. The years pass and both twins reconnect despite their mothers wishes and life for the boys become even more confusing when there is a girl involved. Seriously, this play gives you all the feels and I am so immensely glad that I picke This play. Lord, it was amazing! This is genuinely an amazing play to both read and watch, about a mother who has had to give up one of her twin son's because she cannot afford to keep him, only to find that the woman she sold him to, has banned her from seeing him. The years pass and both twins reconnect despite their mothers wishes and life for the boys become even more confusing when there is a girl involved. Seriously, this play gives you all the feels and I am so immensely glad that I picked it up. As soon as I finished it, I found that the play was showing at the Alhambra and went to see it, and it really did not disappoint! This play is just simply fantastic. You need to read it.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ben Gailey

    Tragedy is a theme written from the very start of this Liverpudlian play. Russell's tragic work of fiction about two brother's torn apart from each other from birth both supplements the reader and audience with a heavy dose of sadness, comedy and superstition set in the slum environments of 60's-80's Liverpudlian England. What happens to the two Johnstone twins? I dearly recommend you to read this relatively short play and then watch the performance. I must add that the theater production was fa Tragedy is a theme written from the very start of this Liverpudlian play. Russell's tragic work of fiction about two brother's torn apart from each other from birth both supplements the reader and audience with a heavy dose of sadness, comedy and superstition set in the slum environments of 60's-80's Liverpudlian England. What happens to the two Johnstone twins? I dearly recommend you to read this relatively short play and then watch the performance. I must add that the theater production was faultless and inexplicably immense.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kaitlin

    I read this play for school and it is probably the first play/musical I have ever read and it was interesting. I think the book was a bit drained due to the fact that it was school and so we have to analyse it and re-analyse it until I no longer see it as the story it is but just a bit of text. Other than that it was an enjoyable read but I am not ecstatic about it. It is interesting to then see it performed as a the musical it is afterwards and to see how it differs to how you play it in your h I read this play for school and it is probably the first play/musical I have ever read and it was interesting. I think the book was a bit drained due to the fact that it was school and so we have to analyse it and re-analyse it until I no longer see it as the story it is but just a bit of text. Other than that it was an enjoyable read but I am not ecstatic about it. It is interesting to then see it performed as a the musical it is afterwards and to see how it differs to how you play it in your head.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    I finished this book the day i borrowed it from the school library. Well I thought this book was very interesting and not suitable for children. It had a lot of swear words in the book and a lot of mean languages. This is actually a play with scripts in the format of a book. I don't know whether it is based on a true story or not, but I hope it isn't because I really don't want someone to actually die so tragically... See more... I finished this book the day i borrowed it from the school library. Well I thought this book was very interesting and not suitable for children. It had a lot of swear words in the book and a lot of mean languages. This is actually a play with scripts in the format of a book. I don't know whether it is based on a true story or not, but I hope it isn't because I really don't want someone to actually die so tragically... See more...

  23. 5 out of 5

    Leo Goldsmith

    I was in a bit of a dilemma here - there are clear faults in the text as a piece of (musical) drama and I might be jaundiced by having now seen in performed three times...yet, yet...every time I teach this to a class they seem to be really engaged by it. So I salute you, Blood Brothers as a GCSE text! Thank you to W.R!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Charlotte (novelsandteacups)

    I studied this for my GCSE's and even got the chance to see it in the theatre's at the time too. Which was great and the songs do get stuck in your head, even when you think you don't know the lyrics you probably do. I would definitely like to read it again and see it in the theatre. I studied this for my GCSE's and even got the chance to see it in the theatre's at the time too. Which was great and the songs do get stuck in your head, even when you think you don't know the lyrics you probably do. I would definitely like to read it again and see it in the theatre.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Caitlan Howard

    I've never read a book in the style of a script, so it was a nice change. However it is a little awkward when you have to read some of the scenes out loud in class, but I really enjoys Willy Russell's execution of social prejudice. I've never read a book in the style of a script, so it was a nice change. However it is a little awkward when you have to read some of the scenes out loud in class, but I really enjoys Willy Russell's execution of social prejudice.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Beth Knight

    I read it because I have to teach it. I don't like it. The heavy handedness of the writing literally beats you over the head. Why is this a classic? And the endless songs. ITS A MUSICAL SCRIPT NOT LITERATURE. I miss An Inspector Calls. I read it because I have to teach it. I don't like it. The heavy handedness of the writing literally beats you over the head. Why is this a classic? And the endless songs. ITS A MUSICAL SCRIPT NOT LITERATURE. I miss An Inspector Calls.

  27. 5 out of 5

    debbicat *made of stardust*

    Fantabulous!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! One of my all time favorite plays and theatre performances. We did it in 2008. Sad day when the show ended. Such good music.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jackie Harrison

    I have read this as it is a GCSE text. Very easy and quick to read but as it is a play I would now like to see it performed as I think I'd benefit from it more. I have read this as it is a GCSE text. Very easy and quick to read but as it is a play I would now like to see it performed as I think I'd benefit from it more.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Amélie

    (3.5/5) A bit bleak to my taste, but really interesting in the way it's written. Will have to see the musical for myself! (3.5/5) A bit bleak to my taste, but really interesting in the way it's written. Will have to see the musical for myself!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Phia

    eat the rich

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