It's a Bright New Day for this musical classic

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REVIEW The Importance of Being Earnest​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ at The Spring Arts Centre, Havant

Bill Kenwright’s production of the international smash hit musical Blood Brothers comes to Hampshire next week.

Written by award-winning playwright Willy Russell, the show has triumphed across the globe, scooping up four awards for best musical in London and seven Tony Award nominations on Broadway

Critically acclaimed actress and singer Lyn Paul returns to the role of Mrs Johnstone, following her first performance back in 1997 Lyn has played the role on numerous UK tours and also starred as Mrs Johnstone in the final West End performances at the Phoenix Theatre in 2012.

Lyn first rose to fame in the early 1970s as a member of the New Seekers. She was the featured vocalist on their 1972 Eurovision Song Contest entry, Beg, Steal or Borrow, in which they came second and lead vocalist on the 1974 number-one hit You Won’t Find Another Fool Like Me. Among the group’s other works, they recorded the I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing, adapted from an advertising jingle for Coca-Cola, which sold more than 20m copies and still remains one of the 100 best-selling singles in the UK. She has also starred in the UK tour of Cabaret in 2013 as Fraulein Schneider, in Boy George’s musical Taboo and in Footloose - the Musical.

This epic tale of Liverpool life started as a play, performed at a Liverpool comprehensive school in 1981 before opening at the Liverpool Playhouse 35 years ago in 1983, completing sell out seasons in the US, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Japan. Blood Brothers also ran in London’s West End for 24 years, exceeding 10,000 performances, one of only three musicals ever to achieve that milestone.

Blood Brothers tells the captivating and moving story of twin boys separated at birth, only to be reunited by a twist of fate and a mother’s haunting secret. The memorable score includes A Bright New Day, Marilyn Monroe and the emotionally charged hit Tell Me It’s Not True.

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.

Blood Brothers

Mayflower, Southampton

May 8-12

mayflower.org.uk