January 13 1983
THEATRE FOUNDRY - Blood Brothers
by Ann FitzGerald

WILLY RUSSELL'S shrewd eye for the distinguished marks of class behaviour are evident in "Blood Brothers", originally commissioned for the Merseyside Young People's Theatre and now the choice of Theatre Foundry for their current tour to senior schools and community venues in the West Midlands.

Blood Brothers - Marc Finn & Bill bellamy The plot, of twins seperated at birth and reared in very different circumstances - one in a single parent, working class family, the other in a striving, nerve ridden middle class household, is the somewhat simplistic framework, which Russell uses for an of the haves and have nots syndrome of society.

As the two boys, Marc Finn and Bill Bellamy excel in using every acting skill to show the essential similarities of all boyhood, overlaid by a patina of speech and movement which differentiate their home backgrounds. The gangling, freemoving, coltish Mickey shows up the stiffness and tensions of Eddie, and Mikey's limited but vivid vocabulary make all Eddie's utterances sound wordbound.

Josephine Roberts and Pamela Collins point up similar contrasts between the two mothers, their different moulds more firmly set by age, their points of meeting and mutual sympathy pared down to a minimum by the errosion of a social system which has ground and shaped their lives.

It makes for a neatly rounded play, but ducks many of the issues, and the complexity of human situations, which, hopefully, will come out in after the performance discussions. Certainly the play, and the production, offer plenty of stimulus for these.