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Explain how a key scene from the play “Blood Brothers” by Willy Russell, might be staged and explain the role of the chosen character in this part of the play This essay is about Blood Brothers by Willy Russell, I will be going to describe the play which includes setting, appearance, characterisation, the role of the characters and stage directions. I hope to achieve an understanding about the Musical and the purpose of the story. Willy Russell is well known as the writer of plays and films such as Educating Rita, Shirley Valentine, Our Day Out, and the musical Blood Brothers.
His work has attracted huge and appreciative audiences all over the world. Willy spent the whole of 1982 turning the small scale production of Blood Brothers into a full scale musical. The musical was first played at the Liverpool playhouse in 1983 and was a huge success. Set in a bleak Liverpool, the story centers on a single mother of many. Mrs. Johnston, who makes a decision that is to have far reaching consequences, when she finds out that the next child she is expecting, which will itself leave her on the verge of poverty, has a twin.
Her decision will affect many lives, as she allows one twin to be raised by her childless employer Mrs. Lyons as her own Willy Russell uses a dark, dingy theme for Mickey’s estate, making life feel duller and boring for everyone. But, he contrasts it with a nicer theme for where Edward lives. I think this is to show the different lives the brothers lead and how close, lives could be the other way round for each of them. For Mickey’s soliloquy, I would have Mickey sat down on the step outside his battered front door. He will be annoyed with his head on his hands.
I can imagine him with a toy car or a muddy stick messing about. He will read his soliloquy with a great boredom to his voice while Edward walks on to the stage. The backdrop will be a long row of houses with symmetrical doors, all battered and raw iron gates which are rusty. Also I can see Edward going up to Mickey and sitting in front of him, this is where he will introduce his first line. I picture both characters to look completely different in clothes wear. For instance I think Mickey would be wearing plain grey pants, a plain off coloured white t-shirt, and black shoes.
Mickey needs to look plain and like he doesn’t wear expensive clothes. He needs to look filthy, especially since he has just came from the park. The audience should feel guilt as such because his mum can’t afford expensive clothes. On the other hand Edward needs to come across smart and well dressed. For instance he should wear black pants, a clean bright white shirt and a tie, although we don’t want Edward to come across snobby. I think the audience will sympathize and like both boys because they are bored, and are still very young.
The role of the Brothers in the musical has a great sense of purpose for example the irony, e. g. they end up meeting and being friends, they call themselves “blood brothers” and they have a close “brotherly” relationship. Also to bring the play Humor although there is poverty and a baby being given away, to establish conflict and a plot. Also to make the audience curious about the story line. The character I am going to focus on is Mickey because he has a rougher background and more interesting story behind him. At the end of Mickey’s soliloquy the stage directions say,
“Bored and Petulant, Mickey sits and shoots an imaginary Sammy. Edward, also aged “seven” appears. He is bright and forthcoming. ” I would have Mickey looking bored, but I think he should be mocking Sammy with jealousy. The next set of stage directions are involving Edward with his sweets. Mickey asks for one and Edward allows him to take one. Mickey will be careful and suspicious because he has taken notice that Sammy is deceitful, and it’s rare you actually get given a sweet. Mickey will then examine the sweet before he actually puts it in his mouth.
Towards the end of the scene, I will have directions of Mickey putting his arm around Edward, as they start to bond with each other. When Sammy enters the scene, Mickey will actually be a little scared of him although he is kind of an idol towards him. I will have Mickey trying to get the gun of Sammy, and when he fails he should join in the “fantasy shoot out” with Sammy. I think there are several most important lines in these scenes firstly, at the beginning when Mickey says, “Gis a Sweet, And Edward says “alright”. I think when Edward agrees to give Mickey a sweet this is the first sign of bonding between the two boys.
I think this is the key line of the boys becoming such good friends later in the book. Also at the end of the scene when Mickey is standing up for Edward, when Sammy calls him. The whole book is about the irony that the brothers have bonded so well. I think the reasons for these are that they have become “best friends” when they first meet. The expressions used will make the audience understand the play more between the brothers. For instance, when Mickey reads his soliloquy, he will have a sound of jealousy to his voice; this is so the audience knows he is jealous of Sammy.
There are parts in his soliloquy which should stand out with his voice; these are the last lines of each paragraph, “But I’m not I’m nearly eight”, “Even though I’m nearly eight”. These lines should be read with anger so we know he is annoyed that he is only seven. The last line of his soliloquy, “But I will by the time I’m eight”, should be read with delight so that he has not got long to wait now. The section where Mickey tells Edward “The “F” word” they should have there hand over there mouths, with laughter in there eyes because they find the word funny.
On page 19, when Sammy enters, Mickey is going to look a little frightened, and when he gives Sammy the sweet he will role his eyes up as if he gets his own way. I don’t think there should be any props because; we want the audience to be fully focused on the brothers because it is a key scene in the story. Maybe Sammy can have a toy gun, Mickey can have a toy car, and Edward will have a bag of sweets. I will have dramatic, intense music as they declare themselves blood brothers and when they read the pledge because, this is the biggest, most ironic scene in the play.
This scene in Blood Brothers is a very important part of the play. The boy’s first meet at the age of seven and bond extremely well, also they declare themselves “Blood Brothers” which is funny and ironic because they actually are, Blood Brothers. Also the two different characteristics they both possess play hugely. The scene shows that lives could have been completely differently for each other, for example, Mickey could have been called Edward, and the other way round. It also shows how society is, this links with the themes Willy Russell uses.
Additionally this story line creates a massive comedy, with funny lines, being unaware of there factual relationship which they both have. Each boy represents society in contradictory ways; Mickey represents the working-class of society, while on the other hand Edward represents the upper-class. Towards the end of the scene it gets a little more serious, Mrs. Johnstone enters. Mickey tells his Mum that they are Brothers. Mrs. Johnstone is shocked until he mentions that they are “Blood Brother”. She can’t let anyone know what she has done because she has kind of sold her baby.