Blood Brothers: form

Blood Brothers: form

Form and Style

  • “Blood Brothers” is a musical play, utilising songs to tell the narrative and capture various emotional stages of the characters.
  • It incorporates various theatrical styles - elements of kitchen sink realism (relating to the struggles of the working class), social drama (emphasising societal issues), and tragedy (showing the downfall of the protagonists).
  • The narrative utilises a range of dramatic conventions including foreshadowing, dramatic irony, symbolism, and leitmotifs.
  • Use of a chorus is incorporated through the character of the Narrator, who links scenes and provides commentary throughout, similar to Greek tragedy.

Framing and Setting

  • Originally written in the 1980s, the story is framed as a flashback, spanning multiple decades, which requires attention to changes in characterisation and setting.
  • The dialogue in “Blood Brothers” is written in Liverpudlian dialect which localises the story and accentuates the cultural specifics of its setting.

Brechtian Influences

  • The play utilises elements of Brechtian theatre, particularly evident in the use of direct address to the audience and the foreshadowing narrative of the Narrator.

Theme and Tone

  • There is a constant interplay between comedy and tragedy in ‘Blood Brothers’, chilling moments are often followed by humorous ones, creating a roller-coaster of emotions.
  • The play engages with themes which are universally relatable such as friendship, family, class struggles, nature versus nurture, superstition, and fate.

Characterisation and Symbolism

  • The characterisation is in ‘Blood Brothers’ is done in a way that emphasises the contrast between social classes, each character acts as a symbol of their respective societal statuses.
  • Symbols and motifs are repeatedly used throughout the play. For example, the recurring mention of twins serves to highlight the theme of duality throughout the play.

Musical Elements

  • The musical numbers vary in style and tone to convey the emotions and themes in the play. They act as vehicles to further the plot and develop the characters.