Blood Brothers. Even just the thoughts of it can send waves of horror down the spine of anyone who had to study this play at GCSE. But not me! To me, Blood Brothers is one of the best shows ever to see on stage.
A few months back, I saw that the West End cast were touring and Glasgow was on their list of cities – I just had to get tickets! It didn’t matter who came with me, even if I ended up going alone I wouldn’t have cared. The money left my account, and a few weeks later the tickets showed up in the post. Now I had to keep them safe for the full 3 months of Summer!
Saturday 9th September came around, and Jordanne and I travelled into Glasgow City Centre for a night in the King’s Theatre. Needless to say, I was so excited to get in and sit in our seats.
On our way in, I had to stop and take a look around me first of all. The only theatres I have ever been in are the Grand Opera House in Belfast, the Waterfront Hall in Belfast, and a theatre in the West End of London, and so to be inside the King’s Theatre was so interesting. I’m not going to say it was beautiful, I mean a lobby is merely a lobby. Inside the actual theatre was lovely though. Whenever you go into a theatre, look up. The ceiling is always the best part in my mind.
I bought a programme, and we made our way to our seats. They were perfectly positioned, only slightly left of the centre, and the perfect distance back that we could see everything without moving our heads. I have always loved being on the floor of the theatre, you really feel like you’re a part of the show.
Soon, the lights were dimmed and the orchestra started up, the actors took to their marks on the stage. It sent shivers down my spine, and I put as much effort as possible into not singing along. The set changes, costume changes, and the power in the voices singing each of those incredible songs. I was fully enraptured, and couldn’t help singing along a little under my breath – I’m sure Jordanne didn’t mind too much! Soon the interval came, and we made a quick dash to the shops and back before the second half. However, before it started, we were keeping an eye out for a group of people.
I was raised with the understanding that the theatre is a treat. One or two drinks before, a drink in the interval, and possibly one after if the taxi is running late. You don’t eat during the performance, nor do you go to the bathroom – both of these can actually be distracting for the professionals on stage, even if they don’t let it affect their performance. And one thing you most certainly do not do is talk. To talk during a show is punishable by death in my family. So you can imagine my horror when 2 couples came in to the theatre, clearly drunk, and sat in the row in front of us. The women were the culprits to be honest, the men just sat quietly waiting for the start. The other two, however, were talking at full volume in their thick glaswegian accents. I thought nothing of it. If they wanted to come to a show drunk, that’s their choice. I was just hoping that they’d quieten down when the show began. How wrong was I? For the entire first half, they spoke at normal volume as if they were just in each others’ houses watching a movie. About 45 minutes in, it reached a quiet, more somber part of the story, and you could hear their voices over what was happening on stage. I was furious! And I’m pretty sure Jordanne was trying her best not to stab them with their own glass bottles. A man in the row in front turned round and told them to “Just shut up already!” and of course they took offense at this. The language that poured out of their mouths, and the increasing volume, had every head in the theatre turning and glaring – thank goodness we only had another 10 minutes or so. So when the interval came, I think everyone in our area made a complaint about them, and surprise surprise their seats remained empty for the entire second half. Why go to the theatre if you’re just going to talk through it? Especially at the cost of the tickets!
But yes, the curtain rose again, and we all settled comfortably into our seats. Act 2 was brilliant, and I jumped and gasped and laughed and cried in all the same places as the last couple of times. It truly was a brilliant production, and the cast deserved their standing ovation.
Mrs Johnston, Mickey, and the narrator were all superbly cast – I couldn’t have wished for a better portrayal of these characters! I wasn’t as keen on the actor for Eddie though, but that may also be because I still haven’t warmed to his character after all these years.
Overall, it was a truly marvellous night, and I couldn’t have asked for a better production on the night of my 22nd birthday.
Have you seen Blood Brothers? Or do you have a different musical that you simply have to see any time it comes near where you live? Let me know below!