“Willy Russell writes entertaining drama about believable characters and champions the cause of the socially disadvantaged. ” With reference to the historical and social context of Blood Brothers, analyse the accuracy of this statement. ” Blood Brothers is a musical play written in the 1980s during a recession in a United Kingdom. Written by Willy Russell, the play revolves around the subject of social class, which is definitely a constant theme throughout the play. Set in Liverpool, the story centres on a set of twins that are separated at birth with both mothers desperately trying to keep them apart in vain.
In this essay I will analyse the accuracy of the statement above and relate to it throughout this essay. Russell uses a variety of techniques to make Blood Brothers an entertaining piece of drama. One way he portrays the story in an effective way to engage the audience, is by using dramatic tension. Dramatic tension is used when Mrs Lyons blackmails Mrs Johnstone to not tell anyone that the two boys are brothers, by using her fear of superstition.
“They say… they say that if either twin learns that he was once a pair, they shall both immediately die.
You won’t tell anyone about this Mrs Johnstone; because of you do you will kill them. ” This section of the play is an excellent example of dramatic tension as it creates suspense and makes the audience sympathise with Mrs Johnstone. Dramatic irony is also another technique Russell uses to entertain the audience. The section of the play where Mickey and Edward meet as young children is great example if this. “Ey, we were born on the same day… that means we can be blood brothers. Do you want to be my blood brother, Eddie?
The audience (and the narrators) know the full story, and know that Mickey and Eddie don’t need to be blood brothers because they are already real brothers, and share the same blood. This frees up the audience to observe the implications of the characters actions and having an advantage over the story, by knowing the full plot. Blood Brothers is a musical play, and the songs involved, play an important role throughout. As well as keeping the audience entertained the songs gives us character insight, provides extra information, and carries along the storyline.
The songs emphasise and highlight key moments during the play, and make the audience aware of their importance. Techniques such as foreshadowing are made clearer, and the music portrays certain moods making characters emotions and thoughts clearer. An interesting technique Russell has used at the beginning of the play is by using a prologue. This is a very effective way to engage the audience, by giving the audience an insight into the plot for example “of one womb born on the self same day, how one was kept and one given away…
” It brings forth questions in the audience’s mind and the answers are revealed as the story unfolds. It frees up the audience to speculate the storyline and how the ending came to be. This intricate plot structure shows how the characters actions have severe consequences throughout the story “An did you never hear how the Jonstones died, never knowing that they shared one name… ” Foreshadowing is fantastic technique that Russell uses successfully in the prologue and throughout the play. Foreshadowing is when events that happening later on in the play are foretold or hinted by earlier events.
The prologue makes foreshadowing possible because the end is revealed to the audience and makes them look for possible omens of this during the story. There are many great examples of this throughout the play, especially in the beginning when the children are playing with toy guns. “But you know that if you cross your fingers, and if you count from one to ten, you can get up off the ground again, it doesn’t matter the whole thing’s just a game. ” The reference to guns and “it’s just a game” is repeated throughout the play, and relates to the twin’s death at the end as both of them are shot.
At the end of the play it’s not just a childish game, and the reality becomes too difficult for the characters to deal with. The quotation implies a long for childish innocence from all the characters, and a cry for help from the tragic ending. Although the outcome of the Blood Brothers storyline is tragic, Russell adds comedy and humour throughout. When the boys first meet, an example of Russell’s humour occurs; “So they took him to the hospital an’ put a plate in his head… A plate? A dinner plate? ” Russell lightens the mood by injecting humour into a scene full of tension and irony.
The comedy in the play makes Blood Brothers a more enjoyable and entertaining piece of drama for the audience to watch. By adding this childlike humour into the play, it shows that Russell can invent realistic and believable characters which make the audience more likely to sympathise with the characters. As well as having a great understanding of young children, Russell also has an understanding of adolescents as well. “… Linda, I wanna kiss y’ an kiss y’… but I don’t know how to tell y’ because I’ve got pimples an’ me feet are too big an’ me bum sticks out…