The key moments of the performance were when the twins met and willfully became “Blood Brothers”. Another key moment was when the twins discover the shocking truth of being related and, predictably, yet tragically die on that day. The set was very basic; however, this simplicity brought our focus on the actors and other stimuli which had more significance in the performance. Also, the set worked well showing wealth in the Lyons’ house and the poverty/discomfort on the black set (streets).
The cast performed very well. Each actor was well absorbed into their role, managing to portray their character realistically. The characterization was the whole essence of the performance. My favorite character was Edward. I was quite humored by the lollipop, stockings, accent, and behavior. Edward’s accent reminded the audience of his class. The Lyon’s are well-spoken, suggesting a good education.
The costumes were impressive, providing strong individuality. My favorite costume was, again, Edward’s. Although, it was clichï¿½ choosing lollipops and stocking to symbolize youth and innocence, it was effective on stage because the stage was simplistic and the costumes of other actors were too, Edward provided the contrast, so every time he emerged on stage, he captured not only the audiences’ attention, but also major interest and humor.
I noticed a lack of props. Perhaps, reason being, to keep focus on the acting, rather than lose focus by looking at props. The props used were quite symbolic, perhaps, some even used to further define a character, e.g. the podium that Edward used. It further brought his class, intellect and professionalism into reminder. We see Mickey and Eddie playing games of gunfights (in which the props are guns), which we find more poignant as we already foresee their death-scene.
Lighting, to be honest wasn’t very visible due to the fact that the play was performed at day time. However, whenever the narrator appeared in the performance, an ominous red light appeared around him, which was visible on a contrasting black stage. Also, spotlights were used during important freeze frames, at the end of key scenes in the play. Music was also used, but in crucial scenes, only two, such as the opening narrator’s speech and in Mickey’s prison cell. The music played as the narrator spoke, combining the speech with music worked well, providing a more meaningful aspect to what the narrator is saying. Also, the significance of the music draws the audience’s attention to the speech and character’s importance.
The script was shortened for the production due to the time limitations. Also, it contains many songs as it itself is a musical; however, songs weren’t used in this performance. This was a shame because the songs held a large aspect of mood, helping the audience to adapt to the moods of the characters and understand them better. The rhythm, tonality, face expression and voice all play a major part in setting a mood, atmosphere and emotions of the characters, as well as the audience.
The theme of adolescence and heredity is touched while we witness the two brothers experience very different backgrounds. The contrast between the two brothers brings comedy to the performance due to their differences. When we first meet Eddie, as a child, he is very adult in his gestures and is polite. We sense that Mrs. Lyons has been protective of him and forbid him to play with other boys in anarchic, raucous games, so it is predictable that Eddie will be influenced by Mickey who is totally untamed. We see that Eddie has been raised into a well-spoken, middle-class boy, whereas Mickey remains a working-class, untamed hooligan. However, when Eddie turns to the Johnstone household; I think that fate and heredity was pulling him back to his roots. Suggesting, no matter their differences, they still grew from the same root.
We also see social class as a theme. Mickey and Eddie, trying to overcome the class boundaries and protect their friendship. There are signs of class separation e.g. the use of costumes. The costumes invite us to make a judgment about each character. Eddie emerges with neat stockings – Mickey emerges in rough denim. The accents were also a big aspect, again reminding us of the class division. Eddie and the Lyons are articulate; suggesting a good education; whereas the Johnstone family share a Liverpudlian accent, suggesting lack of education. The theme of superstition is brought to attention as the narrator reminds us about the curse of the twins, once parted, dying on the same die.