Lancing Repertory Players will be offering the original play version of Willy Russell’s Blood Brothers as their annual October production.
Blood Brothers is now most famous as a musical but Russell originally wrote it as a play and it was first performed in conjunction with Merseyside Young People’s Theatre in 1981.
Russell went on to develop the play into the musical which has toured the globe ever since, winning three Laurence Olivier awards along the way.
It tells the captivating and moving tale of twins who, separated at birth, grow up on opposite sides of the tracks, only to meet again with fateful consequences. It’s a show that packs a punch.
Lancing Rep was able to secure the licence for the original play earlier this year and was able to attract a number of new cast members who all had a specific interest in the play, says director Jamie Crow, who will be making his directorial debut with the company.
Blood Brothers will now be performed for four nights in October at Lancing Parish Hall.
Mike Black, playing the dark narrator of the play, said: “I’ve loved Blood Brothers for 20 years.
“When I saw it again at the Theatre Royal Brighton a while back that was the kick I needed to end my 18-year gap in stage performing. Now I’ve got the role I always wanted to play.”
Katie Hunwick, playing the role of Mrs Johnston, the mother who is forced to give one her twins away at birth, said: “Blood Brothers is one of my all-time favourite plays.
“I have taught it at a secondary school for six years.
“I couldn’t miss the opportunity to join Lancing Rep.”
Caroline Tinker, a relative newcomer to the stage, studied Blood Brothers at school.
She said: “My character Linda is a tomboy like me when I was younger. She’s witty, feisty and fun.
“This will be my second stage role and I’m finding being part of Rep so much fun.”
Director Jamie first saw the show when he was at school, and has had a passion to produce his own version of the play ever since.
“I ended up taking my grandmother to see it in my hometown of Middlesbrough. I knew she would be able to relate to some of the key themes in the play of social inequality, fate and violence.
“They are timeless and, if anything, now more relevant than ever in our society.
“I’ve seen many productions of Blood Brothers and am really excited to share my own version with audiences from Lancing, Worthing, Shoreham and beyond.”
Sue Duncan, chairwoman of Lancing Rep, added: “It is so lovely to see an injection of new creative blood in this production, and each new member was determined to bag a part in Blood Brothers.
“I am really enjoying watching this new talent blossom in rehearsal.
“And I cannot wait for our local audience to see it and witness some of the wonderful local talent we have to show.”
Lancing Rep will be offering four performances in Lancing Parish Hall, South Street, Lancing at 8pm from Wednesday, October 23 to Saturday, October 26. Tickets on www.lancingrep.co.uk/book or by calling the box office on 07933 958823. Doors 7.30pm.
Lancing Repertory Players has been regularly producing plays locally since 1945.