Hey it’s Kiley- giving you my personal aftermath experience after BLOOD BROTHERS.
This musical is a spellbinding nature vs. nurture plot that captivates it’s audiences with its relatable characters. A woman who has the world at her finger tips, but lacks control in her life to be able to conceive a child. A struggling mother in a vulnerable position must make the choice. Do these women meet by chance or fate? They are connected by one lie forced to face the consequences and domino effect of their “deal”. Just think: fraternal twins separated at birth. One twin destined a life of high aristocratic status, Eddie. The other twin brought into a spiraling world, a life that lives day by day, Mickey. Fate pulls these “blood” brothers together. They are torn apart by the built circumstances in this domino effect from unemployment, prison, to falling in love with the same childhood friend. These events lead to the tragic deaths of these “Blood Brothers”.
First is the art of a lie and the destruction that it causes intentionally/ intentionally. The British deep in-bedded class system and the effects it has on relationships/ society. Are you your environment or genetics? Another theme is the ups/ downs and highs/lows of life that may motivate people to succeed or just survive. I think the last song/ ending, “Tell me it’s not true”, stands for a woman who finally lets her guard down and breaks down flaws and all due to her children’s death. This woman no longer cares of judgment. She makes a statement. Everyone is capable of causing hurt or being hurt, no matter what class, rich or poor. She is freed by the suffocating pack built around a lie. She will morn, but she will continue to survive. She will regain the strength to live in spite of the rotten cards she has been dealt.
There’s a tangible approach to acting, it’s a craft, like something you can actually touch and work on, and embody something more. “Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else” is a quote by Judy Garland, who played Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. This icon turned this song into a movement, a message to follow your dreams in spite of self doubt, to persevere over obstacles. I hold these words close to me because it’s important to stay true to yourself and not compare your abilities to others. Everyone has their own strengths, weaknesses, and life experiences that make them the individual they are.
Tell me it’s not true. Being double-casted such a powerful role was soul searching personal journey. I had to trust myself/ director to create this three dimensional character the audience could relate to and sympathize. I had to trust my interpretation and perspective of the character. What worked for the other talented actress, Emily Jones, may have not worked for me and may have come off to the audience as forced.
I connected to this character and I must admit it was difficult to let go and just be in the moment. I think that’s something I struggled with up until the very end. The events/ circumstances that lead to the high emotional peaks could make or break a performance. It was difficult to just “shake it off” even if it was a minor mistake. I had nights I was proud of and nights where I was ashamed of myself for not getting it just right. I could list improvements I could have made to my performance on a given day. This search for unreachable perfection drove me to connect and channel: Mrs. Johnstone. Sometimes a person must breathe and relieve tension due to trying to control everything around you.
Peter-and-the Wolfing was used to prelude Mrs. Lyons. This is represented in the score where whenever a specific character is involved in. The character represents a specific instrument. Put simply the music represents their presence or movement. This is used especially with good guy/ bad guy scenarios. It helps the audience have audio cues of the contrasting characters and infer the overall essence of the characters.
I hope you came to the show and enjoyed this powerful story! I encourage students to participate and audition in next years musical!