Bill Kenwright‘s legendary, award-winning production of the international smash hit musical, Blood Brothers returns to the stage in 2022 for a 16-week tour from 14 January at Theatre Royal Windsor. The much-loved musical, performed to sell-out houses on its recent 2021 UK tour and returns with gusto, running nationally from 14 January – 07 May 2022.
Niki Evans, returns to the iconic role of Mrs Johnstone, after first joining the show in London’s West End and received standing ovations for her powerful and poignant ballads, while Sean Jones returns as Mickey Johnstone, a role which he has previously made his own, to critical acclaim.
Also joining the cast for 2022 are Carly Burns as Linda, Melissa Potts as Brenda and Jacob Yolland as the Bus Conductor.
Completing the company are Joel Benedict (Eddie), Josh Capper (Neighbour), Paula Tappenden (Mrs Lyons), Tim Churchill (Mr Lyons), Grace Galloway (Donna Marie/Miss Jones), Andy Owens (Perkins), Robbie Scotcher (Narrator), Paula Tappenden (Mrs Lyons), Daniel Taylor (Sammy) and Nick Wilkes (Teacher/Policeman).
Written by award-winning playwright Willy Russell, few musicals have been received with such acclaim as the multi-award-winning Blood Brothers. Considered ‘one of the best musicals ever written’ (Sunday Times), Bill Kenwright’s production surpassed 10,000 performances in London’s West End, one of only three musicals ever to achieve that milestone. It has been affectionately christened the ‘Standing Ovation Musical’, as inevitably it “brings the audience cheering to its feet and roaring its approval” (Daily Mail).
This epic tale of Liverpool life started as a play, performed at a Liverpool comprehensive school in 1981, before opening at the Liverpool Playhouse in 1983. The musical has since triumphed across the globe, completing sell out seasons in the US, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Japan, and scooping up four awards for Best Musical in London and seven Tony Award nominations on Broadway.
The superb score includes A Bright New Day, Marilyn Monroe and the emotionally charged hit Tell Me It’s Not True.
Blood Brothers tells the captivating and moving tale of twins separated at birth, who grow up on the opposite sides of the tracks, only to meet again with tragic consequences.
When Mrs Johnstone, a young mother, is deserted by her husband and left to her own devices to provide for seven hungry children she takes a job as a housekeeper in order to make ends meet. It is not long before her brittle world crashes around her when she discovers herself to be pregnant yet again – this time with twins! In a moment of weakness and desperation, she enters a secret pact with her employer which leads inexorably to the show’s shattering climax.
Niki Evans first rose to fame in 2007 when she reached the semi-final of series 4 of The X Factor UK mentored by Louis Walsh. After her debut solo single ‘Love Me No More’ in 2008, she went on to play the iconic role Mrs Johnstone in Blood Brothers at the Phoenix Theatre between 2008-2009 and in 2010 where she received rave reviews from critics. Following on from this she performed in the pantomimes Cinderella as the Fairy Godmother at the Wolverhampton Grand Theatre (2009-2010) and in Kinky Boots as Trish (UK Tour 2018/21). She played the role of Paulette in the musical adaptation of Legally Blonde (UK Tour 2012) receiving high acclaim for her performance as Elle’s sassy confidante. Over the years, Niki has toured as a solo singer with pop stars such as Sonia, Lonnie Gordon, Big Fun and Yell. In 2016, she performed at the Queen’s 90th celebrations at Windsor Castle alongside Dame Helen Mirren, Damien Lewis, Andrea Boccelli, Katherine Jenkins, Gary Barlow, Kylie Minogue and many more.
Sean Jones returns to the role of Mickey in Blood Brothers. Other stage credits include: Aladdin; Sleeping Beauty, Peter Pan; Cinderella; Snow White (UK Tour); Macbeth (UK Tour and Singapore); and Jacqueline’s Wilson’s world premiere of Wave Me Goodbye (Theatr Clywd). TV credits include: Emmerdale; The Royal Today; and Hollyoaks.
Willy Russell is undeniably one of this country’s leading contemporary dramatists. His countless credits include Educating Rita and Shirley Valentine. Educating Rita, originally commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company, enjoyed a two-year run in the West End and was made into a movie starring Michael Caine and Julie Walters. Shirley Valentine also made the move from stage to screen in an enormously popular film starring Pauline Collins and Tom Conti.