Blood Brothers: structure

Blood Brothers: structure

Overview of Play Structure

  • “Blood Brothers” is written by Willy Russell and is constructed in a two-act structure, similar to that of a Greek tragedy. This allows for a build-up of action in the first act, and the exploration of consequences in the second.
  • The narrative follows a non-linear timeline. The whole story takes place over several years, beginning from Mrs. Johnstone’s youth up until the death of her twin sons.

Use of Dramatic Techniques

  • The play starts with the end. Showing the climax (the death of Mickey and Eddie) first is a dramatic technique that creates tension and suspense throughout the play.
  • Flashbacks and childhood memories are intertwined with the main narrative, providing deeper insight into characters and their motivations.
  • There is a strong presence of dramatic irony, with characters acting and making decisions based on information that the audience knows but the characters don’t.

Role of Music and Settings

  • The play’s music and songs provide another layer to the structure, being used to communicate the inner feelings of the characters and hint at themes or coming actions.
  • Shifting social settings (from urban slums to rural landscapes) are used as structural devices to emphasise the difference in the boys’ upbringing and mark significant plot turns.

The Narrator and Themes

  • The character of the narrator is unique, providing commentary and reminding the audience of the moral implications of the characters’ actions.
  • The rivalry between the brothers escalates as the play progresses, mounting tension throughout and culminating in the final tragic scene.
  • The theme of superstition and the constant reminder of the curse runs through the entire play, determining the development of the plot and the destiny of the characters.