August 7, 2012
Tell Me It’s Not True! After 24 years of emotional finales Willy Russell’s modern classic Blood Brothers is to bow out of the West End this year.
The long-running show will have notched up over 10,000 performances in London by its close on 27 October 2012, making it the third longest-running musical in town after Les Miserables and The Phantom of the Opera.
The show started life at the Liverpool Playhouse in 1983 before opening at the Lyric Theatre in London for a criminally short run. Bill Kenwright then stepped in and revived the show at the Albery Theatre (now the Noel Coward Theatre) on 27 August 1988. It transferred to its current home at the Phoenix Theatre in 1991.
Blood Brothers has subsequently travelled the world and recently undertook a major tour of the UK. The show is set to continue to tour after its London run finishes this October.
Willy Russell’s musical is set in Liverpool and tells the tale of two twins who are separated at birth and later reunited by a twist of fate.
The current London cast includes Vivienne Carlyle as Mrs Johnstone, Philip Stewart as Narrator, Mark Rice Oxley as Mickey, Paul Christopher as Eddie, Abigail Jaye as Mrs Lyons and Louise Clayton as Linda.
The starring role of the mother, Mrs Johnstone, has been played by countless actresses over the last 24 years in the West End, including Barbara Dickson, Stephanie Lawrence, Clodagh Rodgers, Kiki Dee, Lyn Paul, Siobhan McCarthy, Katie Scott, four of the Nolan sisters (Linda, Bernie, Denise and Maureen), Spice Girl Melanie C and Niki Evans.
Blood Brothers has won many awards including an Olivier Award for Best Musical and a Best Actress in a Musical gong for the show’s star Barbara Dickson. Also Con O’Neill won Best Actor in a Musical in 1988 and Mel C was nominated this year for Best Actress in a Musical.
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August 27, 2010
Willy Russell’s award-winning musical Blood Brothers celebrates its 22nd birthday today at the Phoenix Theatre in London.
The powerful show, about twins separated at birth, opened at the Albery Theatre (now the Noel Coward Theatre) on 27 August 1988. It transferred from the Albery to its current home at the Phoenix Theatre in 1991.
The starring role of the mother, Mrs. Johnstone, has been played by countless actresses over the last 22 years in the West End, including Barbara Dickson, Stephanie Lawrence, Clodagh Rodgers, Kiki Dee, Lyn Paul, Siobhan McCarthy, Katie Scott, four of the Nolan sisters (Linda, Bernie, Denise and Maureen), Spice Girl Melanie Chisholm and current star Niki Evans.
Blood Brothers originally ran at the Lyric Theatre in 1983 before its revival in 1988, and won the Olivier Award for Best Musical and a Best Actress in a Musical gong for the show’s star Barbara Dickson. Also Con O’Neill won Best Actor in a Musical in 1988 and Mel C was nominated this year for Best Actress in a Musical.
The show currently features Niki Evans as Mrs Johnstone, Philip Stewart as the Narrator, Stephen Palfreman as Mickey, Simon Willmont as Eddie and Vivienne Carlyle as Mrs Lyons.
June 19, 2010
OLIVIER AWARDS – BEST ACTRESS WINNERS
2012 Ruth Wilson for Anna Christie
2011 Nancy Carroll for After the Dance
2010 Rachel Weisz for A Streetcar Named Desire
2009 Margaret Tyzack for The Chalk Garden
2008 Kristin Scott Thomas for Chekhov’s The Seagull
2007 Tamsin Greig for Much Ado About Nothing
2006 Eve Best for Hedda Gabler
2005 Clare Higgins for Hecuba
2004 Eileen Atkins for Honour
2003 Clare Higgins for Vincent In Brixton
2002 Lindsay Duncan for Private Lives
2001 Julie Walters for All My Sons
2000 Janie Dee for Comic Potential
1999 Eileen Atkins for The Unexpected Man
1998 Zoë Wanamaker for Electra
1997 Janet McTeer for A Doll’s House
1996 Judi Dench for Absolute Hell
1995 Clare Higgins for Sweet Bird Of Youth
1994 Fiona Shaw for Machinal
1993 Alison Steadman for The Rise And Fall Of Little Voice
1992 Juliet Stevenson for Death And The Maiden
1991 Kathryn Hunter for The Visit
1989/90 Fiona Shaw for Electra, As You Like It and The Good Person Of Sichuan
1987 Judi Dench for Antony and Cleopatra
1986 Lindsay Duncan for Les Liaisons Dangereuses
1985 Yvonne Bryceland for The Road To Mecca
Actress of the Year in a New Play
1988 Pauline Collins for Shirley Valentine
1984 Thuli Dumakude for Poppie Nongena
1983 Judi Dench for Pack Of Lies
1982 Rosemary Leach for 84 Charing Cross Road
1981 Elizabeth Quinn for Children Of A Lesser God
1980 Frances de la Tour for Duet For One
1979 Jane Lapotaire for Piaf
1978 Joan Plowright for Filumena
1977 Alison Fiske for Dusa, Fish, Stas and Vi
1976 Peggy Ashcroft for Old World
Actress of the Year in a Revival
1988 Harriet Walter for Twelfth Night and The Three Sisters
1984 Vanessa Redgrave for The Aspern Papers
1983 Frances de la Tour for A Moon For The Misbegotten
1982 Cheryl Campbell for A Doll’s House
1981 Margaret Tyzack for Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?
1980 Judi Dench for Juno And The Paycock
1979 Zoë Wanamaker for Once In A Lifetime
1978 Dorothy Tutin for The Double Dealer
1977 Judi Dench for Macbeth
1976 Dorothy Tutin for A Month In The Country
Best Actress in a Musical
2012 The Matildas for Matilda The Musical (Sophia Kiely, Kerry Ingram, Cleo Demetriou and Eleanor Worthington Cox)
2011 Sheridan Smith for Legally Blonde – The Musical
2010 Samantha Spiro for Hello Dolly!
2009 Elena Roger for Piaf
2008 Leanne Jones for Hairspray
2007 Jenna Russell for Sunday In The Park With George
2006 Jane Krakowski for Guys And Dolls
2005 Laura Michelle Kelly for Mary Poppins
2004 Maria Friedman for Ragtime at the Piccadilly
2003 Joanna Riding for My Fair Lady
2002 Martine McCutcheon for My Fair Lady
2001 Samantha Spiro for Merrily We Roll Along
2000 Barbara Dickson for Spend Spend Spend
1999 Sophie Thompson for Into The Woods
1998 Ute Lemper for Chicago
1997 Maria Friedman for Passion
1996 Judi Dench for A Little Night Music
1995 Ruthie Henshall for She Loves Me
1994 Julia McKenzie for Sweeney Todd
1993 Joanna Riding for Carousel
1992 Wilhelmenia Fernandez for Carmen Jones
1991 Imelda Staunton for Into The Woods
1989/90 Lea Salonga for Miss Saigon
1988 Patricia Routledge for Candide
1987 Nichola McAuliffe for Kiss Me Kate
1986 Lesley Mackie for Judy
1985 Patti LuPone for Les Misérables and The Cradle Will Rock
1984 Natalia Makarova for On Your Toes
1983 Barbara Dickson for Blood Brothers
1982 Julia McKenzie for Guys And Dolls
1981 Carlin Glynn for The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas
1980 Gemma Craven for They’re Playing Our Song
1979 Virginia McKenna for The King And I