Stirling effort of sibling rivalry

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Willy Russell’s much-performed bittersweet tale “Blood Brothers” has been brought to the stage in Ramsbottom, courtesy of the Summerseat Players.

Such is the popularity of the play/musical, many theatre-goers today will know the plot of the story first performed in the West End in 1983.

A classic nature versus nurture morality tale, the Summerseat Players do a fine job in balancing the lighter and darker shades of the story featuring two brothers separated at birth, who go on to lead very different paths in life.

Director Peter Larkin does a good job in presenting the story, more often performed as a musical, in a more simple production.

Heading the young cast is Ross Griffiths who stands out as Mickey, the boy kept by his destitute mother and brought up in the rough and tumble of 1960s Liverpool.

He captures the scouse accent well, as well as the boyhood silliness of his character through to the world-weary hardship of young adult life.

His more fortunate brother Eddie is played sympathetically by Stephen Davies who does a good job as the much less interesting, more fortunate sibling.

Bursting with energy is Zoe Molyneux in the role of Linda, the girl both fall in love with.

Christine Morton as the boys’ mother and Kathryn Bland as the unstable Mrs Lyons are good foils to the younger cast members.

Special mention must also go to Roger Boardman who plays the narrator with the perfect balance of pathos and sympathy.

The set at the Players’ home in the Theatre Royal is minimal but suitable, and the lilting soundtrack of favourites from The Beatles is apt.

The play runs until Saturday, May 28th. Bookings are available by contacting the box office in person or by phoning 01706 826760 between 7-8pm Monday to Friday and between 10am and noon on Saturday.