1. Mickey is the twin who is not given away.
  2. He is brought up in the chaotic, but loving household of Mrs Johnstone. He has a complicated relationship with his older brother, Sammy, who is about two years older.
  3. Mickey looks up to him, but he is also scared of him.
  4. Mickey is an innocent, gentle boy by nature. He inspires Linda to play the role of his protector, even though she is the same age as him, and a girl, who Sammy towers over.
  5. When Edward comes to find him, Mickey is fascinated by their differences, but he is happy to be friends with someone who is a ‘poshy’.


  1. As Mickey grows up, he still has difficulty sticking up for himself.
  2. He lacks confidence, which makes him struggle with admitting his feelings for Linda, even though she does all the running and makes it very obvious that she will not reject him.
  3. As Mickey’s problems become more serious, he is still unable to take responsibility. He is forced to grow up much more quickly than Edward, because he has to go straight from school into a job that he hates.


  1. Mickey has conflicts with several of the characters in the play

Social Class

  1. When the twins are small, their relationship, at least from their point of view, is more equal.
  2. There are already social, educational and social differences, but both boys do not really understand what they are, or what they will mean for the future.
  3. They are both just happy to have found a friend. Edward in particular enjoys the ‘freedom’ of the working-class childhood. When they grow up, however, the social differences between them put Mickey in the position of having to rely on his brother to rescue him and the power balance in their relationship changes.


  1. Mickey and Edward are the first children born into the Johnstone household after their father leaves.
  2. After Edward goes, Mickey is Mrs Johnstone’s youngest child and she is very protective of him, but she has to work, so he is often left to defend himself against his older brother, until Linda takes on the role of his protector.
  3. Linda continues to be the strong one in her relationship with Mickey, even seeming to take a motherly role at times. When Linda gets pregnant, for the first time she needs him to support her, but he can’t.
  4. When Mrs Johnstone is not there during his childhood, Sammy and Linda are his main influences.

Key Quotes

‘I wish I was our Sammy’

‘Gi’s a sweet’

‘I will as well, then. I’m not scared either’ - to Linda, after she says she will throw bricks at the window.

‘He was about to commit a serious crime’- Policeman to Mrs Johnstone, about Mickey after the stone-throwing incident.

How does Russell present Mickey as lacking confidence in his relationships?
Your answer should include: Sammy / Linda / Edward
How does Mickey and Edward’s relationship change during the play?
Your answer should include: Innocent / Close / Jealousy / Bitterness