Blood Brothers is a play written by Willy Russell about twin brothers whose mother was tricked into giving one twin to Mrs Lyons, a rich woman who can’t have children. Mrs Johnston keeps a child and raises him on a council estate with 7 siblings. The twins become best friends but their mothers push them apart. However they continue to be friends up until adulthood. This is a classic tale of nature versus nurture and it examines the debates surrounding fate, family and motherly love.
The two women in the story are Mrs Johnston and Mrs Lyons. Mrs Johnston is a lower class single mother living in a council house in the centre of Liverpool. Her husband has left her, while she is pregnant, for a younger woman after she had given birth to 7 children. Willy Russell portrays her as a superstitious and lonely woman. ‘Oh God. Never put new shoes on a table Mrs Lyons.’ At the beginning of the play, I feel sorry for Mrs Johnston because she has lots of children and loves them all equally but she simply cannot support them financially as a cleaner. How she has let herself get into this position is extremely sad but is also a social comment by Willy Russell on society today. Russell sets Mrs Johnston up as the extreme example of the benefit living, single parent family who live with and by the hand of the social. ‘The welfare’s already been onto me. They say I’m incapable of controlling the kids I got.’ I do feel a bit angry at Mrs Johnston when she gave Eddie away to Mrs Lyons but when I see how Mrs Lyons manipulated her and made her think that she was doing the right thing, I feel sorry for her. The picture is quite complicated; Russell is testing the moral ethics of the audience.
Mrs Lyons is a middle class housewife who employs Mrs Johnston as a cleaner. She lives near Mrs Johnston but in a big house by the park. Her husband is working away from home for long periods of time so both Eddie and Micky didn’t have a father figure. At first, I feel a bit sorry for Mrs...
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