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It’s been hailed as one of the best musicals of all time and now we can see why – Blood Brothers brought the house down at The Broadway Theatre.

The opening night of the latest tour of this award-winning Willy Russell drama saw a seemingly endless standing ovation from the Peterborough audience and quite a few tears.

The cast looked delighted with the rousing reaction and it was thoroughly deserved – what a show!


This epic tale of Liverpool life ran in London’s West End for 24 years and exceeded 10,000 performances. It is one of only three musicals ever to achieve that milestone and looks destined to reach a few more.

Blood Brothers tells the captivating and moving story of twin boys separated at birth, only to be reunited by a twist of fate and a mother’s haunting secret. The memorable score includes A Bright New Day, Marilyn Monroe and the emotionally charged hit Tell Me It’s Not True.

It was fantastic to catch the opener of this international smash hit musical as it starts its UK tour and I’d urge you to catch it while it’s here.

The lead star Lyn Paul – ‘The definitive Mrs Johnstone’ (Manchester Evening News) – is just perfect in this role, providing beautiful vocals and a genuine heart to the mother who faces the most terrible of choices. But the whole cast deserve the applause. Grown men having to act as 7 year-old boys in one section of the story could so easily be a cringe worthy watch, but these guys have you truly believing they’re back in the playground with grazed knees, learning naughty words and getting up to mischief. Just brilliant!

Lyn Paul rose to fame in the early 1970s as a member of the New Seekers, and last played the iconic role of Mrs Johnstone in the final West End performances at the Phoenix Theatre in 2012.


When Mrs Johnstone, a young mother, is deserted by her husband and left to her own devices to provide for seven hungry children she takes a job as a housekeeper in order to make ends meet. When she discovers she’s pregnant yet again, and with twins, her desperation leads her to enter a secret pact with her employer which sets them on a path to the show’s shattering climax.

There is some fantastic talent in this show with some stunning vocals and character acting that’s emotionally charged, engaging you throughout moving effortlessly from drama to comedy to tragedy and heartbreak.

Even if you’re sitting in the sceptical camp when it comes to ‘musical theatre’ I challenge you to put those concerns aside, forget the image you may have and give this excellent drama (that just happens to feature some great songs) a try. If musicals generally make you wince, this one won’t – only when the lights come up and you shuffle out with a tear in your eye!

Blood Brothers runs at the Broadway Theatre in Peterborough until Saturday January 16. For tickets call 01733 822225 or visit

Sharon McAllister

Photos: Production shots from previous tour


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