“Tell Me It’s Not True” – A Fond Farewell to Blood Brothers
Sadly Saturday November the 10th 2012 marked the end of Blood Brothers successful 24 Year run in London’s West End. The final performance at the Phoenix Theatre London marked the end of an era as one of the worlds longest running musicals came to a close.
Since it’s creation in 1981 Blood Brothers has been on a rollercoaster journey to success throughout the globe. Below is a timeline of all the major events in Blood Brothers history that have made the show the legend it is today.
Tell us your favourite Blood Brothers memories below!
But is this the end of Blood Brothers?
Rumours abound that Blood Brothers could return to the West End soon in a different venue. If you’d like to be the first to know if the show makes a triumphant return to London, sign up to our mailing list.
- Willy Russell originally wrote Blood Brothers as a school play and was first performed at Fazakerley Comprehensive School in Merseyside.
- Russell spent the entire year converting the show into a stage musical.
- Blood Brothers the Musical opened at the Liverpool Playhouse and then transferred to the West End’s Lyric Theatre in London on 11 April 1983. The show ran until 22nd October 1983 at the lyric.
- Blood Brothers won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Musical and Barbara Dickson another Olivier Award for her performance as Mrs Johnstone
- The cast recorded the original London Cast Recording of Blood Brothers
- Blood Brothers embarked on a year long national tour.
- Blood Brothers return to the West End and opened at the Albery Theatre (now the Novello Theatre) in July 1988 with former Eurovision Song Contest entrant, Clodagh Rodgers as Mrs Johnstone and Con O’Neill as Mickey. O’Neill went on to scoop the Laurence Olivier award for Best Actor in a Musical for his role in Blood Brothers.
- Russell Crowe (!) was the first Actor to play Mickey in the Australian production of the show
- Stephanie Lawrence takes the role of Mrs Johnstone, which she plays for three years until moving to New York to fulfil the role on Broadway.
- Blood Brothers opened at the Phoenix Theatre on 21st November 1988 which marked the beginning of it’s 21 year long residency.
- Blood Brothers opened at the Music Box Theatre on Broadway to rave critic reviews. The Broadway production ran for 2 years and won the 1993 Tony Award for Best Musical
- Bernie Nolan became the first of four Nolan sisters to play the role of Mrs. Johnstone.
- Blood Brothers began a revival UK tour. Blood Brothers has since been regularly performed across the UK.
- A new London Cast recording was released as was the International Cast Recording of Blood Brothers.
- Lyn Paul (also a former Eurovision contestant) takes on the role of Mrs Johnstone which she played until 2010. Lyn is widely considered to have been the best actress to portray the role and will reprise the character to close the show in London.
- Blood Brothers celebrated it’s 10th anniversary on the West End.
- Veteran West End Actress and Blood Brothers star Stephanie Lawrence sadly passes away, but her legend lives on forever in the role of Mrs J.
- Antony Costa of Boy Band Blue joined the cast of Blood Brothers as Mickey
- Liverpool was awarded the title of ‘European Capital of Culture’ and Lyn Paul was invited to perform in a celebratory performance of Blood Brothers in the City.
- Blood Brothers celebrated it’s 20th anniversary on the West End
- Former ‘Sporty Spice’ Melanie Chisolm joined the cast of Blood Brothers, thus marking her West End debut. Philip Stewart also joined the cast in the role of the Narrator
- Former Wet Wet Wet star Marti Pellow took over the role of The Narrator at the Phoenix Theatre and fulfilled the role in London until 28th April 2012. Marti then toured with the Blood Brothers UK tour.
- In April 2012 Philip Stewart returned to Blood Brothers as the Narrator. Other London 2012 cast members included Max Rice Oxley as Mickey, Paul Christopher as Eddie, Abigail Jaye as Mrs Lyons and (former Mrs Lyons) Vivienne Carlyle as Mrs Johnstone.
- Blood Brothers announced it’s closure date of October 27th 2012
- Blood Brothers extended for a further two weeks until November 10th 2012 for a final run of the show with a super cast of former Blood Brothers stars including Lyn Paul, Warwick Evans (original London cast member), Mark Hutchinson, Jan Graveson and Sean Jones. Together the cast bid farewell to the show they have known and loved for decades.
Have you seen the show? Do you think Blood Brothers has taken its final bow? Share your thoughts and memories with us.