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Blood Brothers by Willy Russell

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Blood Brothers is a play written by Willy Russell in 1981 first shown in the Liverpool Playhouse.

In the play 'Blood Brothers' there are songs played throughout. The songs contribute in many different ways. All of the songs help form the structure of the play and help to know what is happening and show how time has passed, by moving the story along. Also many of the songs help to introduce the characters and set the scenes where as others add drama and tension or refer to themes explored in the play.

One way the songs contribute to the play is by introducing the characters and giving background information about the characters. One of the songs played right at the beginning of the play 'Marilyn Monroe' introduces Mrs Johnstone for the first time by giving the audience background information on how she met her husband, Mr Johnstone and how she married him after falling for his cheap chat up lines ' he told me I was sexier than Marilyn Monroe'. It also gives the audience information about how she had 8/9 children and how she was expecting another child with him 'with seven hungry mouths to feed and one more nearly due' but how he unfortunately left her for another women and there was 'no more dancing'. Mrs Lyons is then introduced into the play along with further information about Mrs Johnstone in the song 'My Child' which introduces both characters as mothers. The song shows the contrast in social class and the difference between each character showing poverty and wealth, ' If my child was raised in a palace like this one'. It also shows the audience how each child will be influenced by there social status as they are shown how each child will be raised, 'A bike with both wheels on'.

Another song played in 'Blood Brothers' that gives the audience information about characters is 'Sunday Afternoon, My friend' sung by Mickey and Edward. The song is sung once they have been parted in friendship due to Edward having to move away, 'You could be living on the moon'. The song reflects what each of the characters liked about their friend, 'always had sweets to share' showing the audience how each character felt about the other. Another song sung by Mickey and Edward is 'That Guy' which shows how each character envy's the other. The song follows on from 'My Friend' but this song shows how each child desires to be the other and how ironic it is that they want to be alike when really they are very alike, ' Be just a bit like, That guy'.

Furthermore, the songs in 'Blood Brothers' also contribute to the play by carrying the narrative forward and moving the story on in terms of time. As an opening to Act 2 the song ' Marilyn Monroe 2' is sung by Mrs Johnstone and covers recent events to give the audience a summary of events passed. 'Marilyn Monroe 2' shows a contrast in fortune from Act one and how she now has enough money to pay the milkman, 'The milkman insists I call him Joe'. She also blames the teacher for when 'Our Sammy burnt the school down' suggesting she feels hope finally showing the audience the massive contrast of how her life has changed for the better. There is then a song sung by The Narrator called 'Summer Sequence'. This song covers the three characters Linda, Mickey and Edward from the ages 15 to 18 and there closeness and strong friendship and reflects on there life growing up talking about the memories they have shared when they were young, ' and it seems that summer's never coming to an end' but he then also sings about how the three of them do not know what to expect in the future 'And who'd dare tell the lambs in



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