Monday, November 14th, 2011

ARE you ready for a roller coaster ride with plenty of ups and downs, humour and sadness, love and hate and rich and poor?

Written by Willy Russell and directed by Alida Chaney, the musical Blood Brothers comes to Limelight Theatre this November and December with plenty of memorable dialogue and songs.

Loosely based on the 1844 novella The Corsican Brothers by Alexandre Dumas, it’s set in Liverpool in the late 1950s and follows the life of twins, one who had to be given up at birth.

Blood Brothers won the Olivier Award for best new musical in 1983 and the current West End revival is one of the longest-running musical productions in history, opening in 1988 and still going.

Chaney said the show was close to her heart, after seeing the production in London many years ago.

“I’ve seen it twice since and it always has the same impact on me,” she said.

“It’s not a traditional musical – it’s more a play with music that has all the elements I

The main challenge Chaney faces is balancing the amount of time given to musical direction, choreography and the actual dialogue.

“The show requires a high standard of acting, singing and well-choreographed movement, so the trick is to get the right balance between all three,” she said.

“The other huge challenge is to maintain continuous dialogue between the wardrobe mistress, set builders, stage manager and technical crew.”

“It's a bit like juggling… you hope you only drop the ball on occasion and then manage to pick it up again quickly and continue juggling.”

First stepping on the stage in the UK as an 11-year-old in Oliver, Chaney has a wealth of stage credits to her name and has performed with a variety of theatres including Limelight, Playlovers, Garrick and Stirling Theatres since arriving in Perth in 1998.

She also has also appeared at the Regal Theatre with Glen Shorrock in Cruisin’ and in Annie and Les Miserables and at Burswood Theatre with the Harmony Singers.

With Blood Brothers, it’s no secret there’s another Perth production on around the same time – but it’s something Chaney has embraced.

“I am friends with John Senczuk, the director of the other production, and have had discussions with him,” she said.

“His show will be very different in many ways because he is known for using minimalist sets and has a different approach when directing.

“I am opting for a more traditional Blood Brothers set, very like the London productions, my cast are all brushing up on their Scouse accents and, although I have a few innovative ideas I am implementing, it will be how writer Willy Russell intended.

“There is also the cost factor – our most expensive tickets are only $26 whereas you'll be paying more than $60 to see the other production.”

Blood Brothers plays at 8pm, November 24, 25, 26, December 1, 2, 3, 8, 9 and 10.

Tickets are $26, $21 concession – book on (08) 9571 8591 between 9am and midday, Monday to Friday, or online at

Limelight Theatre is located on Civic Drive, Wanneroo.

bb1: Peter Clark, left, and Alex McLennan, right are the “blood brothers” in Limelight Theatre’s musical of the same name, watched on by Ian Cross, centre, as the narrator.

bb2: Blood Brothers, featuring Clare Wood (Mrs Johnstone), left, Peter Clark (Mickey), Ian Cross (narrator), Alex McLennan (Edward), Susan Marsh (Mrs Lyons) and David Nelson (Mr Lyons), explores the ups and downs of two families after a twin is given up at birth.

bb-mothers: Clare Wood, left, plays Mrs Johnstone, who makes the heart-breaking decision to give up one of her twins to Mrs Lyons (Susan Marsh) as narrator Ian Cross watches on.

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Limelight Theatre, Wanneroo

The Limelight Theatre in Wanneroo, Western Australia, is the home of the Wanneroo Repertory Inc.
Alida Chaney
P: 0403 367 047


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