Described by the Manchester Evening News as being “the definitive Mrs Johnstone”, Lyn Paul returns to the iconic role in Blood Brothers at Liverpool Empire Theatre for the final time.
Having first played her in 1997 and on numerous tours, Lyn played Mrs Johnstone in the final West End performances at the Phoenix Theatre in 2012. 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.
Lyn commented: “I am beyond thrilled to be returning to Blood Brothers in this iconic role. I’m honoured to have been given the opportunity to undertake this ‘Farewell Tour’ by my good friend, Bill Kenwright. It’s such a privilege to be able to play Mrs Johnstone one final time.”
Lyn 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 and lead vocalist on the 1974 number one hit You Won’t Find Another Fool Like Me. The group’s biggest hit was I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing, adapted from an advertising jingle for Coca-Cola, which sold over 20 million copies and remains one of the 100 best-selling singles in the UK.
Further casting for the tour will be announced in due course.
Considered “one of the best musicals ever written” by the Sunday Times, Blood Brothers (written by award-winning playwright Willy Russell) has triumphed across the globe. Scooping up no fewer than four awards for Best Musical in London and seven Tony Award nominations on Broadway, Blood Brothers is simply “unmissable and unbeatable” (The Spectator).
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. It has since completed sell-out seasons in the US, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Japan and ran in London’s West End for 24 years, exceeding 10,000 performances, making it one of only three musicals ever to achieve that milestone.
Blood Brothers tells the 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. A sensational cast, brilliant book, show-stopping music, remarkable staging and five-star performances make Blood Brothers an enthralling night of entertainment.
Willy Russell is one of this country’s leading contemporary dramatists. His theatre credits include Educating Rita, Shirley Valentine, Breezeblock Park and Our Day Out. Educating Rita, originally commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company, enjoyed a two-year run in the West End and was made into a film 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.
Blood Brothers Tickets
Blood Brothers runs at the Empire Theatre from Tuesday September 3 to Saturday September 14. To buy tickets, click here or call 0844 871 3017.