Blood Brothers: Prop design

Blood Brothers: Prop design

Symbolic Props in Blood Brothers

  • The props in “Blood Brothers” are integral to the overall storytelling. They go beyond mere adornment and serve to reinforce the themes of the play.
  • The locket given to Mrs. Lyons by Mrs. Johnston symbolizes the intense bond between the twins. It is a constant visual reminder of their shared past, which they unfortunately do not remember.
  • The Bible, used in the scene where Mrs. Lyons swears Mrs. Johnstone to secrecy, could be seen as symbolic of the moral and societal code that the characters are bound by.
  • Guns feature prominently as a prop, aligning with the tragic end of the twins - signifying violence and the consequences of desperation.

Props Depicting Time and Place

  • To further reinstate the time period and social class, items of clothing and furnishings should be reflective of the 1960s working-class Liverpool life.
  • Isolating stages/sections of the stage with specific props can assist in signifying changes in location – for example, a simple switch of a tablecloth could signify a change from the Johnston’s home to the Lyon’s home.

Use of minimal and Recurring Props

  • The use of minimal props can significantly influence the audience’s interpretation. Certain scenes without props entirely (eg. when Mickey and Edward meet as children) can highlight the focus on dialogue and relationships.
  • The bus is a recurring prop used to show transitions - growing up, changing neighborhoods and moving through life’s stages.

Props Highlighting Character Development and Contrasts

  • The dolls used to represent babies establish the contrasting lives of the mothers and highlight how children are used as props in adult conflicts.
  • Mickey’s pills towards the latter half of the play serve as a physical manifestation of his mental health struggles, his reliance on medication underscores his difficult life circumstances.
  • The subtle use of contrasting props visually highlights the juxtaposition between the lives of the two families. This can extend to finer details, such as the types of toys the kids play with, the way the mothers dress, or the presentation of their homes.