West End Musicals

Blood Brothers Reviews - Phoenix Theatre

Post Review
Venue Information
Phoenix Theatre

Phoenix Theatre
Charing Cross Road

Seating Plan


(3mins) Take Tottenham Court Road south (towards Leicester Square) and the theatre will be on your left after 100 metres.

Review Summary
Average Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars based on 24 review(s)


Latest Review: "Willie Russell and Bill Kenwright created and produced a touch of heaven in BB. From the plot to the..."

Reviews Sort by
    Sunday, 13th Nov 2011 by Luke Hickma

Amazing show, best musical I have ever seen, Stephen Palfreman is unbeatable when it comes to playing the part of Mickey, incredible show, I just hope it stays at the Phoenix for many years to come.

    Thursday, 25th Aug 2011 by michael gregson

Fantastic show, well worth seeing it, the emotion and power behind the show was mind blowing, tears did not stop flowing has well has the laughter, I recommend this show to everybody and I be seeing it again. The cast was truley amazing too.

    Thursday, 17th Feb 2011 by Carla

I took my BF to the show as a present. He didn't fancy the title as he thought it would be a sad story however we loved it so much that I'm thinking to return. It was smashing. Their voices were stunning. It was funny entertaining and had a lovely story behind. Absolutely loved it. If you are confused which show to watch and want to have a good laugh - don't think twice - book blood brothers.

    Monday, 2nd Aug 2010 by Boxoffice Review

One of the Longest running musicals in history, Blood Brothers is in its 21st year and still  going strong.  The show had it’s premiere in 1983 at the Lyric Theatre (winning the Olivier award for Best New Musical that year) and closed after a modest 6 months.  The Musical was then revived at the Albery Theatre - now called the Noel Coward Theatre - in 1988 (Directed by Willy Russell and Bill Kenwright who also produced the show) and transferred to the Phoenix Theatre in 1991. 

Blood Brothers tells a tale of twin brothers separated at birth because their mother can’t afford to keep both of them. The grow up at different ends of the social spectrum: one lives with their Mother in impoverished conditions in Liverpool while the other lives in the suburbs with his rich adopted parents.  The problem is Mrs Johnston  (the mother of the twins) has effectively sold one of her children to her employer (a wealthy woman who is unable to have children) and has made a deal never to seek to make contact with her child ever again.  Add into the mix a healthy dose of fate driven superstition (if the brothers ever discover the secret of their separation they will both die) and we have an interesting and unconventional plot for a musical.

I have to admit I have a soft spot for this show.  It has a brilliant score and it’s mix of childish irreverent humour combined with the ominous feeling that something bad is going to happen is utterly enthralling.  Songs like Marilyn Munro capture the vitality of Mrs Johnstone’s (a part played by the likes of Barbara Dickson & Kiki Dee currently played beautifully by Niki Evans of X-Factor fame) youth; filled with optimism, hope and love which eventually subsides to the cruel reality of bringing up several children as a single parent on low income.  She is put in an impossible situation and does what she thinks is best for her children - feeding the ones she has while giving her son away with the promise of a better life. 

The superstition thread of the plot is embodied by a narrator (a menacing Phillip Stewart) giving the piece a feeling of inevitability about it’s conclusion.  The brothers are very well played. Stephen Palfreman who ably crosses the spectrum  as the lovable and cheeky young Mickey to an older, unemployed man, prone to bouts of depression and destined to be led astray when down on his luck.  Richard Reynard as Eddie who goes from being a nerdy swot to a suave and educated young man.

Blood Brothers has gone through the tunnel of feeling dated and come out the other end as an excellent period piece.  The music is brilliant and as powerful as ever.  The story is gripping and entertaining and I really hope it lasts for at least another 21 years.  It deserves to take its place along side Les Miserable and Phantom of the Opera as one of Britain’s greatest musical.  Definitely worth going to see.

Blood Brothers - Music, Book and Lyrics By Willy Russell at Phoenix Theatre, Charring Cross Road, London, WC2H 0JP

Add Your Own Review

Your Name: Displayed on site

Your Score:

Your Review

Show Information
Booking Until: Saturday, 27th October 2012
Matinees: Wednesday, Thursday 3pm and Saturday 4pm
Evenings: Monday to Saturday 7:45pm
Running Time: 2 hours and 45 minutes
Age Restriction: Suitable for children aged 12 and over. Children under 4 will not be admitted.
Show Status: This production is closed