Former Spice Girl Melanie C made her stage debut in front of West End critics this week playing the lead role in Blood Brothers, and has been hailed a triumph.
The pop star took the role of Mrs Johnstone in Willy Russell’s emotional and powerful musical set in Liverpool. The show has been running for 21 years in the West End, most recently at the Phoenix Theatre.
Fiona Mountford from the Evening Standard said that the show “rings out as a rich, detailed and desperately moving piece of work”, largely thanks to Melanie C’s “terrific stage debut”. Along with praise for her singing, “Mel C delicately captures every changing tone”, her acting is also commended, “the arc she traces as the indomitable matriarch is strong and sure, with her climactic anguish so evidently felt that it’s almost unwatchable.”
Charles Spencer of the Telegraph said that she is “absolutely sensational… Melanie C gives one of those performances that grips with its emotional truth from the start and never loosens its grip. In every scene she seems to be living spontaneously in the moment, she sings with superb power and feeling, and ranges from warm comedy to the bitter depths of anguish.”
The overall production also fared well with the critics, with Spencer saying that, “Bill Kenwright’s production remains fresh and intense and leaves no doubt that the show belongs among the greats of British musical theatre”.