The rumours are true - one of the West End’s best loved and longest running musicals, Blood Brothers, is scheduled to end its current London run at the Phoenix theatre on Saturday 27 October 2012. Recently rumours had been circling that the show was to move on from the Phoenix Theatre to a lower capacity West End venue, but this would now appear not to be the case. Although a UK tour is still ongoing, this means the end for the beloved show in London for the time being.
When the show closes it will have played over 10,000 performances in London, making it the third longest running musical ever to play the West End. Bill Kenwright’s production of Willy Russell’s Liverpool-set story of the Johnstone twins, who are separated at birth and later reunited by a twist of fate has won over both crowds and critics for years. It sports a stunning score which includes the stirring song Tell Me It's Not True. Over the years the central role of Mrs Johnstone has been played by, amongst others, Barbara Dickson, Kiki Dee, Lyn Paul, Natasha Hamilton, Niki Evans and four Nolan Sisters. Spice Girl Melanie C's recent turn in the role won her an Olivier Award nomination for Best Actress in a Musical in 2010.
Widely considered one of the greatest musicals of all time, Blood Brothers has been a global sensation, collecting no less than four Best Musical awards in London and seven Tony Award nominations on Broadway. The show has been affectionately dubbed 'the Standing Ovation Musical', as it so often “brings the audience cheering to its feet and roaring its approval” (Jack Tinker, Daily Mail)
The production began its life as a school play, performed by a Liverpool comprehensive school in 1981. It subsequently opened at the Liverpool Playhouse in 1983 and transferred to the Lyric Theatre for a short tenure. Producer Bill Kenwright then took on the show and it opened a new production at the Albery Theatre in 1988 to great acclaim. It transferred to its current home, the 1000-seating Phoenix Theatre, three years later. It has also been a runaway hit on Broadway and across America.
A spokesperson for Bill Kenwright Ltd said “This is the end of a chapter, but by no means the end of Blood Brothers.” The current UK tour is planned to continue through to 2013.
Book tickets for Blood Brothers at the Phoenix Theatre here