Blood Brothers: creation of mood and atmosphere

Blood Brothers: creation of mood and atmosphere


  • “Blood Brothers” effectively uses lighting to change the mood and atmosphere throughout the play. An example would be the stark contrast between the brightness used to symbolise the twins’ childhood innocence and the dim lighting used to represent their grim adulthood.

Sound and Music

  • Sound effects play a significant role in creating suspense and tension. The eerie and foreboding sounds of the fairground during the ‘Shoes Upon The Table’ scene create an atmosphere of unease.
  • The music in the play intensifies emotions and sets the tone. The song ‘Marilyn Monroe’ signifies changes in Mrs. Johnstone’s life, displaying her descent into despair.

Setting and Dialect

  • The play is set in Liverpool and captures the characteristic dialect and expressions of the locale. This creates a realistic atmosphere and reinforces themes of class, poverty, and social division.

Props and Costumes

  • Props such as the locket and the gun are symbolic and contribute to mood and characterisation. They underscore the sense of foreboding and tragic irony.
  • Costumes convey wealth and social status among the characters. The contrast between the Lyons family’s fresh, high-quality clothes and the Johnstone family’s hand-me-downs highlights class disparities.

Dramatic Techniques

  • Willy Russell uses dramatic irony to create tension. The audience knows about the twins’ true relationship before they do, adding tragedy to the story.
  • The narrator’s role is crucial to setting the mood. His appearances at tense moments and unsettling interjections create an eerie atmosphere.
  • The swift scene transitions from one setting to the next create an ongoing sense of momentum and tension.
  • Long monologues help the audience understand character motivations. Mrs. Johnstone’s monologue about her struggle and loss adds to the overall mood of despair and hopelessness.