We should think ourselves lucky to have a world class theatre group on our back doorstep. Since seeing The Beauty and the Beast back in August of 2015, we were impressed with the quality of the set design and the placement of the orchestra on the mezzanine above the stage. The seamless design adding to the experience of the show.
The production was saw was Blood Brothers by the Beenleigh Theatre Group is a complex and emotionally challenging musical to portray and yet the cast and crew brought the tragic story to life.
Fiona Buchanan does an incredible job of portraying Mrs Johnstone, the single mother trying to support her large family with the Department of Child Safety breathing down her neck. Despite the hard choices she makes that ultimately shape the fate of her sons, Mickey and Eddie (Will Boyd and Travis Holmes), Fiona brings dignity and empathy to the role. Thus enabling the audience to identify with her every step of the way.
When the seven (almost eight) year old boys, Mickey and Eddie meet for the first time after living very different lives from birth, the show really starts to come alive. They bring a cheeky innocence and mischievousness that lights up the stage and the chemistry between the actors makes you forget that you are watching grown men perform as young children.
As the story goes, Mrs Johnstone’s hardships continue, but by now the audience identifies with her and see that as a trodden on, lower class, single mother she is also endearing and loves her children. And despite their differences, Mickey and Eddie continue to remain friends, tormenting Eddie’s adopted mother in the process.
Time marches forward and in the second half of the show, we see Mickey, Eddie and long-time friend, Linda (Aimee Monement) have grown up. During school breaks, when Eddie returns from private school, the three of them become inseparable. But their young and carefree time together comes to a close and so begins the downhill spiral that eventually brings the show to a close.
From the boyish charms of Mickey and Eddie as children, to the way their lives unfold as adults, director, Roslyn Johnson has brought this parable about class and privilege to life. There are only two shows left, so get on down and book your seat – you won’t be disappointed! (But take a box of tissues).
The Beenleigh Theatre Group relies on performance revenue, members, funding from government grants and partnerships, and their volunteers work tirelessly to complete the work for each show. Check their website for bookings.