|Date||29th August 2014|
|Society||Washington Theatre Group|
|Venue||Washington Arts Centre|
|Type of Production||Play|
Author: Foster Johnson
To stage an iconic classic of British Theatre, with all that everyone associates with it, and then introduce your own interpretation whilst not falling into the trap of simply emulating what has gone before, takes a vast amount of talent, vision, and above all else, hard work. Washington Theatre Group did so in spades with Willy Russell’s’ Blood Brothers’. Under the direction of Matthew Lowe, whose clever use of minimalistic stage sets, photographs both as a backdrop and a keynote to the scenes, and choice of music, the audience were treated to a great evening’s entertainment.
The cast was exceptional. It would be wrong to single out any of them above another as they all brought that something special that you would expect from a Willy Russell character. Humour, pathos, anger, and unrequited love were all there. John Seymour, as the dark presence, brilliantly brought the Narrator to life as he linked the show together, whilst Sarah Clarke, as Mrs Johnston, portrayed the loving but careworn and downtrodden working-class mother to perfection.
Paul Agar and Peter Marshall, as the twin brothers Mickey and Eddie, undertook their pivotal roles so well that, once immersed into the show, the audience had no doubt that they were twin brothers. Ann-Marie Pitcairn, as the lovelorn Linda, and Sarah Tetchner, as the neurotic adoptive mother Mrs Lyons, also brought their own valued contribution to the show.
As the Director in his programme notes said “doing ’Blood Brothers’ as a straight play allowed plenty of chance to develop the original foundations of each character and focus solely on the original meaning of the play.” It certainly did so and the finishing touch of the use of the Hollies classic “He Ain’t Heavy He’s My Brother” brought the production to a fitting climax.