This year marks 30 years since Bill Kenwright’s production of the international smash hit musical Blood Brothers first toured the UK.
In celebration, the iconic showpiece has been visiting theatres across the country, performing to sell-out houses and receiving standing ovations.
And at the end of this month it is coming to the Alhambra Theatre in Dunfermline for a short run from October 23-28.
Hailed as one of the best musicals of all time, Blood Brothers, written by award-winning playwright Willy Russell has triumphed across the globe.
Scooping up no fewer than four awards for best musical in London and seven Tony Award nominations on Broadway, Blood Brothers is simply unmissable and unbeatable.
This epic tale of Liverpool life started as a play, performed at a Liverpool comprehensive school in 1981 before opening at the Liverpool Playhouse in 1983.
It went on to complete sell out seasons in the US, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Japan.
Blood Brothers also ran in London’s West End for 24 years, exceeding 10,000 performances – one of only three musicals ever to achieve that milestone.
Blood Brothers tells the captivating and moving story of twin boys separated at birth, only to be reunited by a twist of fate and a mother’s haunting secret.
The memorable score includes A Bright New Day, Marilyn Monroe and the emotionally charged hit Tell Me It’s Not True.
The story centres around a young mother, Mrs Johnstone (played by Lyn Paul).
When she is deserted by her husband and left to her own devices to provide for her seven hungry children, she takes a job as a housekeeper in order to make ends meet.
But it is not long before her brittle world crashes around her when she discovers herself to be pregnant yet again – this time with twins.
In a moment of weakness and desperation, she enters a secret pact with her employer which leads inexorably to the show’s shattering climax.
A sensational cast, incredible show stopping music, remarkable staging and five star performances make Blood Brothers an enthralling night of entertainment.
Lyn Paul, who rose to fame in the early 1970s as a member of the New Seekers, is no stranger to Blood Brothers.
She has been described as ‘the definitive Mrs Johnstone’ and on this tour she is reprising the iconic role she first played in 1997.
Lyn played the role of Mrs Johnstone in the final West End performances at the Phoenix Theatre in 2012.
Blood Brothers also stars musical theatre regular Dean Chisnall who returns to the role of the Narrator.
He has performed in a number of musicals including Shrek the Musical (West End and UK tour), Love Never Dies, Never Forget, Evita and The Woman in White. Sean Jones reprises his role as Mickey, a role he has performed in the West End, including as part of the final cast at the Phoenix Theatre in 2012 alongside Lyn Paul, and on tour.
Speaking to the Press ahead of the show coming to Fife, Lyn revealed what audiences can expect.
She said: “It’s a night of entertainment, a terrific show that is well-written, produced and directed with a fantastic cast.
“Mrs Johnstone is a very grounded, hard-working woman who has her tribulations. It is an incredible part to play and I feel very lucky to still be doing it. I love it.”
But what is her favourite part of the play?
Lyn said: “I like the kitchen scene and the last scene, but all of it is great and very different.
“I would describe it as a play with music rather than a musical. I perform a few songs and one of my favourites is Tell Me It’s Not True which is at the very end.
“It is special for everyone who comes to see the show.”
Lyn said the themes in Blood Brothers are still as relevant today as they were three decades ago.
She explained: “It is about the class divide which is relevant to many people and there is something in this show that does appeal to everyone.
“Many will be able to relate to it. People are still struggling today as they were 30 years ago – there are women who can’t have children, women who have a few children, but are struggling to afford them, people who can’t get work and people who get into trouble with the police and end up in jail – these are all still relevant today.”
Before she played this iconic role in Blood Brothers, Lyn was best known for being part of the New Seekers. She was the featured vocalist on their 1972 Eurovision Song Contest entry, ‘Beg, Steal or Borrow’, in which the group came second and lead vocalist on the 1974 number-one hit ‘You Won’t Find Another Fool Like Me’.
Among the group’s other works, they recorded the song ‘I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing’, adapted from an advertising jingle for Coca-Cola, which sold over 20 million copies and still remains one of the 100 best-selling singles in the UK.
She has also starred in the UK tour of Cabaret in 2013 as Fraulein Schneider, in Boy George’s musical Taboo and in Footloose – the Musical.
Lyn enjoys performing on stage and said she is looking forward to bringing Blood Brothers to Scotland.
“It is a beautiful country to come to and the Scottish audiences are very welcoming,” she said.
“They open their hearts and really enjoy themselves. There are many places that can relate to this play, particularly Liverpool and Manchester, and I think audiences in Scotland can relate to it too.
“I remember performing in Blood Brothers in Glasgow and the audience was amazing.”
She added: “I have been to the Alhambra in Dunfermline once before, years ago, and I am looking forward to coming back.”
Blood Brothers is at the Alhambra Theatre in Dunfermline from Monday, October 23 to Saturday, October 28. Matinee performances are available on selected days.
Tickets are on sale from Alhambra Theatre Box Office or visit www.alhambradunfermline.com.