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Dates announced for Blood Brothers 2020 Spring Tour which visits Richmond Theatre in February

Blood Brothers - Lyn Paul as Mrs Johnstone (previous cast).

BILL Kenwright’s production of the international hit musical Blood Brothers continues into Spring 2020, with the first dates (February 4-8) at the Theatre Royal, Brighton.

This iconic musical has been visiting theatres across the country throughout 2019, performing to sell-out houses and receiving standing ovations.

Lyn Paul continues in the iconic role of Mrs Johnstone for her final performances. Paul first took on the role in 1997 and has continued to lead the company on numerous tours across the country, including the final West End performances at the Phoenix Theatre in 2012.

Paul 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 Paul said: “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 Paul 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 groups 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.

Considered ‘One of the best musicals ever written’ (Sunday Times), Willy Russell’s Blood Brothers has triumphed across the globe. Scooping up 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, 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 such a 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.

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.

Blood Brothers is directed by Bob Tomson and Bill Kenwright and designed by Andy Walmsley, with musical direction by Tim Whiting, lighting by Nick Richings and sound by Dan Samson.

Following the Theatre Royal, Brighton dates, Blood Brothers will continue to Richmond Theatre (February 11-15); Bord Gais Energy Theatre, Dublin (February 18-29); Millennium Forum Theatre (March 3-7); The Auditorium, Grimsby (March 10-14); Belgrade Theatre. Coventry (March 17-21); Wolverhampton Grand Theatre (March 24-28); New Victoria Theatre, Woking (March 31-April 4); and Garrick Theatre, Lichfield (April 7-11).

NB: Mrs Johnstone will be played by Rebecca Storm at Bord Gais Energy Theatre, Dublin and Millennium Forum Theatre.