Category Archives: News

Blood Brothers UK Tour 2012-13

Blood Brothers tours the UK 2012-13, is this the show’s last hurrah?

Blood Brothers may have said a final farewell to London’s West End after a whopping 24 years in performance, but Mrs Johnstone  and the twins will be touring the UK until spring 2013. Check out the tour dates below to see if the magic of Blood Brothers is coming to a town and theatre near you.

City

Theatre

Date

Aberdeen His Majesty’s Theatre 19th – 24th November 2012
Sheffield Lyceum 14th – 16th January 2013
London Croydon Ashcroft Theatre 4th – 9th February 2013
Cheltenham Everyman Theatre 11th – 16th February 2013
Carlisle The Sands Centre 18th – 23rd February 2013
Cardiff New Theatre 25th February – 2nd March 2013
Marti Pellow will return to the Blood Brothers UK tour cast

The Tour Cast

Narrator – Marti Pellow
Mrs Johnstone – Nikki Evans
Mickey – Sean Jones
Eddie – Matthew Collyer
Linda – Olivia Sloyan
Mrs Lyons –Tracy Spencer
Mr Lyons – Tim Churchill
Sammy – Danny Taylor

Ensemble

Tori Hargreaves, Graeme Kinniburgh, Jonathan Vickers, Karl Greenwood, Marc Mulcahey and Suzi Power.

About the cast

Want to know more about the actors playing the lead roles of Mrs Johnstone and The Narrator in the Blood Brothers tour? Check out their backgrounds and performance history below.

Marti Pellow

Marti Pellow rose to fame in the 1980’s in the Scottish boy-band Wet Wet Wet. After beating a heroine addiction, Pellow dabbles in musical theatre, landing roles on both the West End and Broadway as Billy Flynn in Chicago as well as starring in the London revival of The Witches of Eastwick (2008-2009.)  Marti Pellow has starred in the UK tour of Blood Brothers in 2011 and went on to reprise the role on the West Endfrom 1st November 2011 – 28th April 2012. Pellow is now back in the tour cast and will play his role as the Narrator throughout the run.

Niki Evans reprises her role as Mrs Johnstone in the Blood Brothers UK Tour.

Niki Evans

39-year-old Niki teetered around the edge of the public eye for years before making it to the live finals of X Factor in 2007.  Off the back of her success, Niki successfully auditioned for Blood Brothers and made her West End debut in the show at the Phoenix Theatre in November 2008.   Evans briefly left the cast twice, only to reprise her role in 2009 and again in 2010. Niki Evans also fulfilled the role of Paulette in the UK tour of Legally Blonde in 2012, before once again returning to Blood Brothers, only this time for the tour.

 

Do you think the tour will be as good as the West End production? Leave your comments below!

Final Blood Brothers Tickets

Blood Brothers 21st Anniversary Logo
Blood Brothers 21st Anniversary Logo – The show will close after an amazing 24 years

With just over 2 months to go until Blood Brothers finally bids farewell to the West End, we wanted to share with you a number of special offers to see the show, to make sure you manage to see it one last time. Whilst we are certainly sad that it is coming to an end, we want to go out with a bang and have great supportive audiences to see us through to the end. After 24 years the show has proved to be a hit with audiences all over the world, and we are expecting that many people are going to make a return visit to the show before it leaves The Phoenix Theatre forever.

The final West End performance at the Phoenix Theatre will be on Saturday, November 10th 2012. We can only imagine the atmosphere at the final show – and you can be a part of it! We currently have tickets available for the final show in the Dress and Upper Circles, so don’t miss out on being a part of Blood Brothers history and seeing the show alongside other fans, past cast members and creative team.

The final week leading up to the end of the show is also set to be a big event, and we have tickets available at every performance, starting at only £38.00. Not only do we have fantastic availability for the final week, we also have great seats available throughout August and September, with some massive savings to be had. Now is the time to see this immortal musical for one final time!

Final Blood Brothers Tickets

 

Tickets for August 

Save Over 55% on Stalls and Dress Circle Seats

Valid Monday to Thursday evenings:  Was £59.50 NOW £29.00
Save 51% on best available tickets
Valid Friday evening and Saturday matinee
Tickets for September
Save on Upper Circle Seats: Was £39.50 NOW £26.00
Save on Stalls Seats: Was £59.50 NOW £29.00
Saturday Evening performances: Was £59.50 NOW £45.00

 

Blood Brothers Closing

After an impressive 24 years, Blood Brothers is set to close on 10 November 2012

It is with deep regret that we announce that long running musical ‘Blood Brothers’ is set to close in the West End, after a record breaking 24 years. The show, currently running at the Phoenix Theatre in London’s West End, as well as a successful UK tour, has apparently just been ‘breaking even’ and has suffered with the recent downfall of tourists in the West End due to the Olympics.

According to online news reports, the reason the show has closed is due to an agreement between theatre producer Bill Kenwright and owner of the venue Ambassadors Theatre Group. The show has been a staple in the West End for so many years, and it is sad that this has suddenly come to an end. Unlike many shows that end, the notice period has been relatively short, with cast and crew given notices last Saturday. People took to Twitter straight away to discuss the closure, and after a weekend of rumours it took until yesterday for the producers to address the situation and make an official announcement.

Although it was originally thought that Blood Brothers would replace the now closed production of Dreamboats and Petticoats at the Playhouse Theatre (another BK production) this has not been confirmed. With both Kenwright shows now out of the West End, all eyes are on the theatre producer to see what his next move will be.

Blood Brothers joins the ‘bloodbath’ of the West End that has seen many popular shows shut up shop. Chicago, Dreamboats and Petticoats and Ghost are three popular musicals that are all closing at the beginning of this season. With larger musicals such as The Book of Mormon, Viva Forever and The Bodyguard arriving in the West End from November, the face of London Theatre is quickly changing.

Rumours have been flying about which show will take over both theatres. It is thought that a successful Broadway production such as ‘Peter and the Starcatcher’ or the Tony Award winning ‘Once’ are looking at the Playhouse and the Phoenix respectively.

Marti Pellow Extends Blood Brothers Run

Marti Pellow as the Narrator in Blood Brothers 2 – credit Keith Pattison

Former Wet Wet Wet singer Marti Pellow has announced he is extending his run in the hit musical, Blood Brothers. Marti has been playing the part of the narrator since 1st November 2011 and was originally due to finish his run in the smash-hit Willy Russell musical in a couple of week’s time on 3rd March, but he has extended his run until 28th April 2012, much to the delight of his fans.

Blood Brothers currently shows at the Phoenix Theatre in London, where it has been playing  to packed audiences for over twenty years, since 1991. The tragic and touching tale tells of twin brothers, separated at birth, brought up in different classes who are ultimately reunited. Songs from the score of the musical, also written by Willy Russell, include ‘Marilyn Monroe’, ‘A Bright New Day’ and the emotional finale, ‘Tell Me It’s Not True’.

Blood Brothers is currently taking bookings until 24th November 2012.

What do you make of this news? Are you pleased for Marti or do you think that it’s time someone else took over as the narrator? Have your say in the comments box below!

Vivienne Carlyle to Play Mrs Johnstone

Vivienne Carlyle

Actress and performer Vivienne Carlyle has recently taken over from Amy Robbins in the leading role of Mrs Johnstone in the West End stage version of Blood Brothers the Musical. The classic musical, one of the lonest-running showing in London and a firm-favourite with lovers of British musical theatre, has seen lots of high-profile and celebrated actresses fill in the coveted role of the working class mother of twins from Liverpool. Past performers in the role include Atomic Kitten star Natasha Hamilton, Nolan sister Maureen and Sporty Spice Melanie C. As from 31st January 2012, the Phoenix Theatre added another great performer to its list of leading ladies in the role.

Vivienne Carlyle may be familiar to fans of the musical. She is no stranger to the tragic tale of twin brothers, separated at birth and brought up in different worlds, who find each other later in life – with dramatic consequences – as she has just finished playing Mrs Lyons. The role of Mrs Lyons is demanding in itself, although not as ‘main’ a role as Mrs Johnstone. Mrs Lyons has to cope with the fact that she herself cannot have children, to instead takes in one of the twins to raise as her own and lessen the cost for the poorer and biological mother. Mrs Johnstone however, is the principal character and sings the heartfelt closing song ‘Tell Me It’s Not True’. Vivienne herself has said that she is delighted to be cast in the role.

Born in Glasgow, Vivienne has many other credits to her name other than Blood Brothers. She has performed in productions such as Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, Who’s Tommy and The Drowsy Chaperone, and has also played The Songbird in Cirque du Soleil’s Saltimbanco in South America. As well as theatre work she has also provided backing vocals for stars such as Dina Carroll, Barry Manilow and Michael Bolton.

Be sure to catch Vivienne as Mrs Johnstone in Blood Brothers!

 

 

 

Marti Pellow Joins Sunderland Cast

Marti Pellow will perform with the Sunderland cast of Blood Brothers the musical for a limited period of two weeks. The Wet Wet Wet singer was due to perform his usual slot as narrator in the smash-hit musical at the Phoenix Theatre in London from 30th January until 11th February 2012, but due to “unforeseen circumstances” he is now performing in Sunderland on these dates instead.

Marti Pellow rose to fame in the late 1980s and 90s with his band Wet Wet Wet and began a solo career when he left the group in 1999. He later pursued his interest in musical theatre, starring in leading roles in shows such as Chicago, The Witches of Eastwick and Jekyll and Hyde. Pellow joined the West End cast of Blood Brothers in November 2011 to the delight of his fans and will play the role of the narrator until 3rd March 2012.

Did you have tickets specifically to see Marti during these two weeks? Are you lucky enough to have Sunderland tickets in these two weeks and are excited to see him in his highly-praised role? Add your thoughts and comments in the box below!

Blood Brothers musical extends into 2012!

Musical theatre fans across the UK will be delighted to discover that the hugely popular musical Blood Brothers is extending its London performances well into 2012, with tickets now on sale until November of next year. Currently showing at the Phoenix Theatre London in the heart of Theatreland, Blood Brothers boasts the title of being one of the city’s longest-running musicals ever, with its West End debut having taken place at the Lyric Theatre in 1983 before transferring to the Phoenix in 1988. The musical has enjoyed an uninterrupted run at the theatre ever since, meaning that the extension into 2012 heralds an impressive 24th year of unbroken performances on the London stage and further cements Blood Brothers’ cult status amongst London musicals.

Blood Brothers tells the story of two brothers who are ripped apart at birth by fate and greed, and who grow up on very different sides of fortune. Micky lives an impoverished life with his birth mother, whereas Eddie grows up under the care of his mother’s wealthy employer and is afforded all of life’s luxuries. However, a series of chance meetings brings the two crashing back into each other’s lives, and the tangled friendships and relationships at the show’s surface slowly descend into tragedy. An emotionally gripping study of the social spectrum, Blood Brothers is still as moving and relevant today as it was at its opening in 1988, so the news that it will be reprising its position at the Phoenix for at least another year is sure to be a relief for staunch fans of the show.

The musical has seen a parade of esteemed musical theatre performers and celebrities take up the lead roles across the years, with actors as diverse as ex-Spice Girl Melanie Chisholm, recent Eurovision hopeful Antony Costa and the current Mrs. Johnstone, ex-Atomic Kitten Natasha Hamilton, all treading the boards in the last few years. The creation of London theatre legend Willy Russell, Blood Brothers has won a string of awards in the years since its opening including an Olivier award for Best New Musical in 1983, and has charmed critics and theatregoers alike, with Evening Standard critic Fiona Mountfort commenting that ‘the show rings out as a rich, detailed and desperately moving piece of work’.

Now that the musical has announced its intention to carry on performing at the Phoenix Theatre for an extra 12 months beyond its previous final date of 26th November 2011, audiences both new and old have another chance to buy Blood Brothers tickets and catch this phenomenally long-running show in its London home. If its success continues at the same pace, we may even expect the production to make it to its quarter-century anniversary in 2013!

 

Blood Brothers 21st Anniversary Logo
Blood Brothers 21st Anniversary Logo - its now in its 23rd year!

Blood Brothers Tickets Price Comparison

Analysis of 14 London theatre ticket websites to find the best websites to buy Blood Brothers tickets…

The Phoenix Theatre’s auditorium is made up of three seating sections (Stalls, Dress Circle and Upper Circle) and choosing where to sit and which company to purchase tickets from can be a difficult task. Different seating areas offer different types of views and experiences, and prices can vary dramatically depending on where you choose to sit.

We compared 14 theatre ticket websites to find out which ones are the cheapest and the best value for money. We searched each site for evening tickets for two people for Blood Brothers on Saturday 15th October 2011 to get an idea of which websites are doing the best deals. We have separated the research by seating areas:
• ‘Close to the Action’ – the best Stall seats,
• ‘The Best View’ – seats in the front rows of the Dress Circle
• ‘Cheap, Cheap, Cheap’ – the cheapest seats in the Phoenix Theatre which are located in the Upper Circle.

We listed the best three prices for each seat type and have included our full list of websites and prices in a sortable table at the end of the post.

Close to the Action (Stalls)

Stall seats are located on the ground floor of the auditorium and are closest to the stage. If you would like to feel a part of the action or wish to see the actors’ facial expressions in detail, then choosing a seat in this section may be for you. The face value of a top-priced ticket in the Stalls is £56.

Best value tickets:
1. HitTheTheatre.co.uk – £55
2. Ticketmaster – £56 with the option to choose your own seat
3. Lastminute.com – £56

The Best View (Dress Circle)

The Dress Circle is situated above the Stalls on level 1 of the auditorium, and offers some of the best views at the Phoenix Theatre. As you are seated a little higher up, you are not peering down on the stage, but rather viewing it as a whole. If you do not mind about seeing the actors up close, then sitting here may be for you. The face value of a top-priced ticket in the Dress Circle is £56.

Best value tickets:
1. HitTheTheatre.co.uk – £55
2. Ticketmaster – £56 with the option to choose your own seat
3. Lastminute.com – £56

Cheap, cheap, cheap (Upper Circle)

The Upper Circle is located above the Dress Circle, on level 2 of the auditorium. Seats here are located rather high compared to the other seating sections, and you may feel quite far from the goings-on from the stage. On the plus side, tickets in this section are by far the cheapest, and are often worth it. The face value for the cheapest ticket in the Upper Circle is £27.50.

Best value tickets:
1. Ticketmaster – £27.50 with the option to choose your own seat
2. Lastminute.com – £27.50
3. OfficialLondonTheatre.co.uk – £30

Conclusion

HitTheTheatre provides the cheapest tickets for the Stalls and Dress Circle sections at £55 each, less than face value, although you were not able to choose your specific seat as on Ticketmaster. Lastminute.com was equal in price to Ticketmaster, although again potential buyers are not able to choose their own seats. For Upper Circle tickets, Ticketmaster and Lastminute.com again came up as the cheapest at £27.50, with OfficialLondonTheatre.co.uk providing some cheap tickets for £30 in the Upper Circle.

Some sites such as tickets.1st4londontheatre.co.uk, uktickets.co.uk, londontheatredirect.com, londontheatrebookings.com, theatreticketsdirect.co.uk and uktheatretickets.co.uk show face value prices and then show their own prices next to them which are usually considerably higher. There are also a couple of sites such as seetickets.com and lovetheatre.com whose ticket prices initially seem cheap, but add a large booking fee of over £5 to each ticket. See the table below for full listings of prices for each of the fourteen London theatre ticket websites that we researched.

This research was based on a Saturday evening performance on October 15th 2011. We noticed huge differences in price for matinee and mid-week performances with tickets being sold at less than half price. If you have flexible dates we recommend using CheapTheatreTickets.com as this site shows prices for the date you choose plus a few days before and after making it easy to spot cheaper tickets.

Our Blood Brothers tickets research:

WebsiteClose to ActionBest ViewCheap, cheap, cheap!
Ticketmaster.co.uk£56
£56£27.50
Lastminute.com£56£56£27.50
Officiallondontheatre.co.uk£61£61£30
Tickets.1st4londontheatre.co.uk£71£71£51
Uktickets.co.uk£71£71£51
Hitthetheatre.co.uk£55£55-
Londontheatredirect.com£62--
Lovetheatre.com£61.60--
Seetickets.com£64.40--
Londonwestendtheatretickets.com£71.50£71.50£35.10
Londontheatrebookings.com£71.55--
CheapTheatreTickets.com£70£70£34.50
Theatreticketsdirect.co.uk£70£70£35
Uktheatretickets.co.uk£70£70£35

Tour Dates – June to November 2011

Blood Brothers holds the title of the longest ever run for a musical at the Phoenix Theatre in London. Having recently celebrated 22 years of entertaining audiences in shows at both the Noel Coward Theatre (formerly known as the Albery) and at its current location of the Phoenix, audiences nationwide now have the opportunity of seeing this hugely successful musical for themselves with the announcement of a number of tour dates for 2011.

A list of dates for June to November are below for you to find your nearest city – keep checking back as it is possible that more dates will be announced!

Sign outside the Gaiety Theatre, Dublin

Dublin – June 7 – 25

For the majority of June the tour will be taking up residence at the Gaiety Theatre in Dublin. Fondly known as the ‘Grand Old Lady of South King Street’, the 138-year old theatre is renowned for showcasing both international shows like Blood Brothers and championing Irish culture. Restorations in 2003 and more recently in 2007 have resulted in the theatre being able to host both small and large-scale productions in comfort.

For more information regarding the Blood Brothers tour in Dublin and about the Gaiety Theatre itself, visit www.gaietytheatre.com

Preston – June 27 – July 2

Between the 27th June and 2nd July the tour will visit the Preston Guild Hall & Charter Theatre. With two main venues, the Grand Hall Arena and the Charter Theatre, it is able to host a variety of events, ranging from concerts seating over 2,000 people to more traditional theatrical productions in a specially-tailored space.

Perth – July 11 – 16

In July the tour will be journeying north to Scotland for a stint at Horsecross, the Perth Theatre and Concert Hall. Both Horsecross venues have won a number of awards in recent years, including the Pulitzer Prize, and the Perth Theatre in particular is a 100-year old establishment encompassing a range of live entertainment, from comedy, drama, new writing, small-scale performances, jazz and singer-songwriters to of course, musicals.

Leeds – July 18-23

From the 18th until the 23rd June, the tour will be calling at the Grand Theatre and Opera House in the centre of Leeds. As well as showing touring productions throughout the year, the venue is the home of Opera North and regularly hosts the Northern Ballet Theatre. In addition to its main theatre, the restoration of the Howard Assembly Room has provided another performance space for more experimental opera and theatre.

Aylesbury – October 31 – November 5

Towards the end of the year the tour will be playing at the Aylesbury Waterside Theatre. The theatre opened in 2010 next to the canal as part of a regeneration of the area, and aims to include a diverse range of entertainment across West End shows, pantomime, comedy, dance, international opera and ballet and gigs.

If you are unable to see the show in London and the Blood Brothers tour is arriving soon at a venue near you, please visit our tickets page for more information on how to book tickets for this classic musical.

Other Shows by Willy Russell, Writer of Blood Brothers

Educating Rita

‘Blood Brothers’ the musical was written by playwright and composer Willy Russell in 1983 and was first shown to audiences in Liverpool, Russell’s home city, before transferring to London’s West end in 1988. In 1991, the musical moved from the Noel Coward Theatre, formerly the Albery, to the Phoenix Theatre on Charing Cross Road, where it still shows to sold-out audiences to this day. As well as writing the story for ’Blood Brothers’, Willy Russell also composed the musical score, has written several other plays and TV shows since and has published one novel in the year 2000.

Before ‘Blood Brothers’, Willy Russell had written several plays and musicals such as ‘John, Paul, George, Ringo…and Bert’, a musical about British pop group The Beatles, which showed at the Lyric Theatre in London in 1974 and ran for a successful year, having been named ‘Best Musical of 1974’ by the Evening Standard Awards. In 1980, three years before Blood Brothers premiered to audiences in Liverpool, Willy Russell’s play ‘Educating Rita’ was shown at The Warehouse in London. The play was set entirely in the office of an Open University lecturer and told the story of the relationship between a young Liverpudlian hairdresser and a middle-aged university professor. The play was so successful that Russell adapted the screenplay for a film in 1983 starring Julie Walters, who had originally played the part on the stage, and Oscar-winning actor Michael Caine. For his adapted screenplay, Russell received an Oscar and a BAFTA nomination.

As well as ‘Educating Rita’ and ‘Blood Brothers’, Willy Russell has seen soaring success with the play ‘Shirley Valentine’ , the story of a middle-aged housewife from Liverpool, focusing on her life before and after a life-changing holiday abroad. The play first opened in Liverpool in 1986 before transferring to London’s Vaudeville Theatre starring Pauline Collins. The show crossed the pond to New York where it ran for over 300 performances on Broadway and won a Theatre World Award for Outstanding Broadway Debut. In 1989, ‘Shirley Valentine’ was adapted into a film, again starring Collins as the title role, where she received a BAFTA Award. Willy Russell also nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay for the BAFTA and Oscar Awards.

Willy Russell’s plays are often revived on the London and UK stage, most recently from 20th July to 30th October 2010 when ‘Shirley Valentine’ was performed for a limited run, with Meera Syal in the title role. Stay tuned for any news on Willy Russell revivals in 2011.