Willy Russell is the author of the play ‘Blood Brothers’. ‘Blood Brother’ is set in Liverpool which influences the storyline of the character Mickey’s family live in a rough area of Liverpool then go on to move away from there house and go to live near his brothers family Edward. The setting of the play influence the way Mickey speak he has a Liverpudlian accent. Edward doesn’t have a Liverpudlian accent. The play was first performed in Liverpool. ‘Blood Brothers’ is about two twin brothers who are separated at birth because of their mother not being able to keep both of them.
The audience know from the prologue that they are brothers and have been separated at birth and the die when they are told they are brothers. The stage direction in the boys’ first meeting shows the difference in personality of the boy’s Mickey is described as ‘bored and petulant’ which shows that he doesn’t get that much attention because he has a big family, which also link with the stereotype of working class people having lots of children and Edward is described as ‘bright and fourth coming’ he gets a lot of attention because he’s an only child.
Mickey is frustrated at being the youngest, which I think Russell is stereotyping working class people having lots of children. They first meet when they are just seven and become good friends at the start of the play. Before they meet the mothers of the two boys tell them not to play near each others house because Mrs Lyon’s doesn’t want Edward playing with the rough kids and also doesn’t want him to be near his brother in case they find out they are brothers.
Edward goes to Mickey’s house because his see’s Mickey playing near his house and I personally think he want to make friends with him Mrs Johnstone was told by Mrs Lyon’s if the boy’s are ever told they are brothers they will both die because Mrs Johnstone is superstitious she doesn’t tell them that they are related. They grow up not knowing they are brothers. When they did eventually find out that they are brothers when there mother Mrs Johnstone tells them that they are related at the end of the play they tragically die and the superstition becomes true in this case.
When Mickey first meets Edward he says “hello” to him first and Mickey say’s “hello” back suspiciously because he is not use to people being nice to him because he tend to have lots of strange people taking items from his house. The audience reactions at that stage are if the boy’s are going to find out about being brothers and they might be shocked because they know they are brothers from the prologue. When Mickey says “do you live up in the park” that conveys that he’s a higher class Mickey always refers to his mom as ‘Mam’ and Edward say’s “mummy”.
When Edward say’s “well my mummy doesn’t let me play down here” which also conveys that he’s middle class because up generally mean that better higher than something else. When Mickey says “gis a sweet” in my view is rude because he doesn’t ask for a sweet he demands one off Edward. When Edward say alright to Mickey having a sweet Mickey react shocked because he doesn’t usually get any sweets. Mickey suspiciously takes one of Edwards’s sweets because he is used to people tricking him because in his area are the rough children who play tricks.
Mickey takes a handful of his sweets because he doesn’t usually get many sweets because his mom can’t afford it . Mickey say’s “y’ have to ask about twenty million times” which is a hyperbole. When Edward say’s you can take as many as you want Mickey isn’t used to people being nice to him. Mickey always using slang because he say’s if y’ and Edward using formal English he say’s you rather than y. Mickey always using swear words which shows that he is from a working class background and a lower class . He uses word ‘like dead careful’ which is slang which means very careful.
Edward uses word ‘like super fun’ which shows he’s posh. Edward also says fantastic which shows he’s posh. Mickey doesn’t know what a dictionary which shows he’s a lower class. Mickey exaggerates because he say’s you have to ask about twenty million times. When Mickey tells him about Sammy usually weeds on the sweets before giving it you he explodes in laughter because he isn’t use to playing joke’s this also show’s the bond of the brother’s their age bond’s them and what they find humorous like the plate in Sammy’s head.
The boy’s don’t know anything about class but Sammy does we know this because Sammy refers to Edward as a “friggin poshy”. Mickey say’s Sammy has a plate in his head Mickey and Edward think that he seriously has got a plate in his head. Edward say’s a dinner plate suggesting that Mickey has a big head. Edward also say’s mam which is slang which shows he’s a lower class. The effect of this is that Edward is well educated, but they both find it funny even though Mickey doesn’t understand what a side plate is.
Edward say’s a side plate Mickey doesn’t know what a side plate is but Edward does because he’s posh he also say’s smashing things which shows he’s posh as well. Mickey says d’ they call y’ Eddie but because he is middle class and doesn’t have a nickname. Mickey pretends that he isn’t scared even though he is and say’s it hurts y know. When Mickey says “I will always defend my brother” shows that Mickey is leading him by telling him what to say and then later on in the play Edward leads Mickey.
Sammy has a gun in his hand when he is asking Mickey for a sweet I think he uses guns when he wants something, which links to the bank robbery because he uses his gun to get money. When Mickey says to Sammy he hasn’t got any sweet but Edward is honest and says Mickey has got one for Sammy which shows he is from a high class than Mickey and he isn’t a liar because he has never had to lie, because he has never been influenced by his surrounding. Mickey say’s to Sammy “you stole my best gun” which again leads to the bank robbery because he tries to steal money.
In my opinion Edward being polite shows he is a higher class because he say’s pardon when talking to Sammy. Sammy calls ‘Edward a friggin poshy’ using slang which conveys he’s a lower class and this also shows that he knows the difference between classes because he’s at the age where he can tell the difference. Sammy also says “I’m going to get a real air gun” which again links back to the armed robbery when he uses a real gun to rob the bank. In my opinion I don’t think Sammy wanting a real gun is linked to the robbery because he is just young and properly think that guns are cool.
Mickey says to Edward “y’ comin’ the funeral” Mickey is using slang which also suggests he’s a lower class using slang. When Sammy says to Mickey that his “worms was alive and wrigglin’ this mornin’ but by dinner time they was dead” relates to the end of the play when Mickey and Edward die. When Mickey says to Mrs Johnstone Mam Mam this is my brother Mrs Johnstone reacts stunned because she think that Mickey knows about them being brothers and think that they will die. Mickey says he lives up by the park portrays that he’s a higher class and by saying up near the park.
Mrs Johnstone in a hurry say’s to “Mickey get in the house” tells us that she doesn’t want them to find out about being brothers. Sammy say’s to Edward ah I’ll get you which shows he is an aggressive person. When Edward is addressing Mrs Johnstone he addresses her in a formal way by saying have I done something wrong Mrs Johnstone which again conveys that he is a higher class then Mickey. Another way it is suggested that Edward a higher class than Mickey is that Mrs Johnstone says “does your mother know that you’re down here”.
Edward say’s to Mrs Johnstone politely “perhaps Mickey can come to play at my house” which indicates he’s a higher class because Mickey isn’t polite. Mrs Johnstone uses a list of three when saying to Edward never to come to their house she say don’t you ever come round here again. Ever. Ever! She says this because she doesn’t want Mickey and Edward to find out that they are brothers. Mrs Johnstone goes on to say the bogey man will get you which is linked to the theme of the play superstition.
Willy Russell explores the social classes by making Edward’s family middle class and Mickey’s family lower class but Edward and Mickey are from the same family genetically so the difference is the way that they are bought up for example their education is different Edward’s education is better than Mickey this is shown by Mickey not knowing what an dictionary is I know this because he say course I do it’s a, it’s a thingy innit which implies that he doesn’t know what it is.
What I learnt about life in Liverpool throughout the play is that it could be hard for some families and it could be easier for other families. This is shown by Mickey and Edward. Mickey lives a hard life with his family not having much money for Mrs Johnstone to look after her children. Mickey didn’t have a good childhood. Mickey takes advantage of Edward getting things what he wants such as when Edward has sweet in the stage direction says “he takes a handful of sweets”. Edward lived an easy life his family are wealthy and have a nice house in a good area.
Edward gets everything he wants; He has a good education good life when growing up and has a great childhood. The effect that Russell shows in presenting the brothers this way is showing how different the brothers are. How there is a big change in the brothers being different classes this is shown by there language I known this because Edward uses words like smashing, super fun and fantastic. Mickey uses slang he say mam and say y’ rather than you. Mickey uses swear words I known this because he says I’m not playin’ now ‘cos I’m pissed off which show he a lower class than Edward.
And the way they act also show the change in class Mickey is use to playin tricks on each other I known this because Mickey say ‘cos, if our Sammy gives y’ a sweet he’s usually weed on it first. In my opinion Russell was successful in showing the different class the way he presents the brother in the there first meeting shows the brothers two different in everyway possible he shows there classes though language, the way they act, there families and there way they are educated.