Brothers was a hard act to follow..."
- ..."I couldn't
accept a role which was less than that, and such parts are thin
on the ground."
Blood Brothers has attracted
top quality singers and actors to perform the characters created
by Willy Russell. For example, the part of Mrs. Johnstone, has
been played by some famous names...
- FIRST LADIES ...
- Barbara Dickson
first performance was in Willy Russell's John, Paul, George,
Ringo and Bert in 1973. In 1980 she was asked to play the lead
role of Mrs. Johnstone in Blood Brothers. She quickly made the
role her own and was awarded a Society of West End Theatres Award
for Best Actress in a Musical in 1983. Barbara revisited
the role for a celebratory performance in Liverpool during the
winter of 2000-01 at the Liverpool Empire.
- Stephanie Lawrence
Barbara, Stephanie spent four years as Mrs. Johnstone in Blood
Brothers. As well as appearing at the Phoenix Theatre in London,
she led the production cast that took Blood Brothers to Broadway
in 1993. Although the show was initially savaged by the notorious
New York critics, it was nominated for six Tony Awards
including one for her performance as Best Actress. Sadly, Stephanie
passsed away in 2000.
- Helen Reddy
born, Helen Reddy has appeared as both Shirley Valentine, the
one-woman play by Willy Russell, and as Mrs Johnstone in Blood
Brothers. She has performed in Broadway and on the West End.
- Petula Clark
- Petula Clark made her Broadway debut
alongside David and Shaun Cassidy in a highly successful production
of Blood Brothers and followed it with an American tour.
- August - April 1994 Broadway
- September - May 1994/5 US
- Lyn Paul
a New Seeker, Lyn Paul first became Mrs. Johnstone in 1997. She
performed on the West End stage, then a four month tour of the
UK before returning to London, where in July 1998 she celebrated
the show's 10th Anniversary.
- Linda Nolan
Nolan sisters, Bernie, Denise, Linda and Maureen have all played
Mrs. Johnstone at different times.
- Kiki Dee
Dee first appeared in 1987 at the Albery Theatre, in London before
touring and returning to the West End when the production moved
to the Phoenix Theatre. She returned to the role several times
during the next few years.
- Carole King
King became Mrs Johnstone in 1994 for the Broadway run. Invited
to star in the show but unsure, she had made her mind up by the
interval! "After the first act, I said, "I'm in. I
love the show. Willy Russell is so talented."
- and the GENTLEMEN ...
- Shaun Cassidy
with his half brother David, performed in Blood Brothers at the
Music Box, New York in 1993 and 1995 when he played Eddie. Their
parents, Jack and Shirley (Jones) were both Broadway stars. Today,
Shaun concentrates in TV production and writing.
- David Cassidy
- "David Casidy was top of my list
when I was looking for the first American star to play Mickey
in Blood Brothers. He exceeded my expectations ..." BILL KENWRIGHT. Critic, Michael Kuchwara, said "three genuine pop culture icons..
a perfect marriage of performers and the parts they play."
- Russell Crowe
Crowe, now a huge Hollywood star, played Mickie in an Australian
production of Blood Brothers in 1988/9. It was his performance
in this production that caught the attention of director George
Ogilvie and led to his successful career in films. "unquestionably
one of the major theatrical events of 1988". SYDNEY REVIEW. "The part affected me badly...
it was heart-rending for the audience, let alone me. I put a
lot of myself into it. I'd feel a bit funny after each performance
and find it difficult to talk to people. "I like to perform
with everything I've got and the reaction of the audience is
far more important to me than that of the reviewers." RUSSELL CROWE
- Con O'Neill
is a former member of the Everyman Youth Theatre. He won the
OLIVIER AWARD for Best Actor in a Musical for his performance
of Mickey in 1988 and was one of the cast who took the show to
- David Soul
Soul, star of Starsky and Hutch and numerous television programmes,
toured New Zealand, Australia, France and England as the Narrator
in Blood Brothers.
- "As narrator,
American David Soul, although suffering from laryngitis, cuts
a stylish and crisply wrought character." HERALD SUN
- John Conteh
known as the first British boxer to hold the World Light Heavyweight
Championship for a quarter of a century. Since retiring from
boxing he has made numerous TV appearances as a boxing commentator,
and has acted in several stage plays including Blood Brothers.
John played the Narrator in Blood Brothers during its
first National tour.
- Carl Wayne
Wayne, former singer with the Move, played the key role of the
Narrator in Blood Brothers for six years. He made his debut in
the show at Londons Albery Theatre in October 1990 until
June 1996 at the Phoenix Theatre. During this time he starred
opposite Barbara Dickson, Kiki Dee and Stephanie Lawrence. Like
others, his association with the show began when he was persuaded
by a friend to go and see it, looking particularly at the role
of the Narrator. He was immediately very impressed. Keen to play
the role, he had learnt all of the songs and the script before
getting an audition. Carl sadly passed away in 2004.
- Willy Russell
performed the Narrator role in Liverpool. He also appears on
the International Cast recording of the show which featured Petula
Clark, David and Shaun Cassidy.
- "A unique
experience... Apart from being one of Britain's most celebrated
authors, you will see why I believe Willy is also a born performer."
BILL KENWRIGHT on Willy's
- Willy Russell has become famous
for his performance readings. He won an award for Best Supporting
Actress for his reading of Shirley Valentine - the one
- More famous faces to come...>>>