Introduction 2


The story is told in the form of a musical play by Willy Russell. It is important to think about the__ impact that the form has on the way a story is told__. In this case, we need to remember that whatever happens has to be told on one stage, in front of a live audience. That means that there are certain limitations, which have to be addressed in creative ways. It would be expensive and difficult to change the stage sets between the Working Class and Middle Class areas of Liverpool, so that doesn’t happen. As the audience, we just accept that their houses are further apart than the width of the stage. Also, when the families move, the stage sets don’t change then, either. We do not see the inside of Mrs Johnstone’s house in Act 1, but we know it is small and overflowing with children, whose voices spill out into the street. __This contrasts strongly with the inside of the Lyons’ home, which takes up the entire stage. __

The technique of adults playing children is very__ funny and effective__, and it also means that the cast of the play is much smaller than it would otherwise be. Plays are usually performed six nights a week and twice on Wednesdays and Saturdays. As Blood Brothers tells the story of the twins from birth to death, we see them as babies, young children, teenagers and adults. If we include everybody else through the years, too, the cast would be enormous if they were all played by different people.

The__ songs in the musical are important for moving the story along__, giving the audience a lot of information in a short time, as well as breaking up the pace of the action. They are also useful for giving us an insight into the thoughts of the characters. Sometimes, an author needs to give the audience important information, but does not necessarily want to show it on stage, because it would make the play too long. To do so, the author has to find a way to explain what they need to without making it seem awkward. This is known as Exposition. Often, this is done by having a ‘useful idiot’- a character who needs the explanation, so the audience can learn it at the same time. In this case, Russell simply has the characters sing the _Exposition _instead. It is a quick, interesting, clever way of delivering what would otherwise need to be said or shown during the action.