Standing ovation deserved for ‘Blood Brothers’

The cast includes, from left, Silke Langner, Reinhardt Malherbe, Sarah de Louwere and Mikaylah da Costa
The cast includes, from left, Silke Langner, Reinhardt Malherbe, Sarah de Louwere and Mikaylah da Costa

Blood Brothers, a play which showcases the captivating and emotional journey of friendship, love and betrayal through the lives of twin brothers separated at birth, was warmly welcomed and brilliantly performed by pupils from Theodor Herzl High School this week.

The show, which opened to a packed Pemads Little Theatre at the Athenaeum in Belmont Terrace on Wednesday night, strung the audience along through tears of laughter to tears of sadness and commanded a well-deserved, roaring standing ovation.

The local rendition of the internationally acclaimed musical, under the guidance of respected theatre director Robin Williams, poignantly depicts the lives of twin brothers who grow up on opposite sides of the social spectrum, unaware they are even related.

Written by acclaimed British dramatist Willy Russell, the play is a contemporary look at the nature versus nurture plot, revolving around twins Mickey Johnstone (Reinhardt Malherbe) and Edward/ Eddie Lyons (Zukhanye Christopher Kaliko).

Outstanding performances by Reinhardt and Christopher see them acting out their parts superbly through different stages of their characters’ lives, from age seven to their early twenties.

Malherbe is particularly good at portraying an innocent seven-year-old who is “almost eight” when he meets his twin (unbeknownst to him) for the first time.

With her spellbinding voice and larger-than-life presence, Kasvia von Memerty (daughter of well-known actor Ian Von Memerty) steals the show as the twins’ biological mother, Mrs Johnstone, who loves to dance and has a propensity to have children.

Her stellar performance, singing abilities and stage presence can be equalled to that of any mature theatre actor.

Quick scene transitions, costume changes, set design and character development are very well handled throughout the show.

Other memorable performances by Gemma Barnard as Mrs Lyons, Silke Langer as Mickey’s love-interest, Linda, and Cameron Gordon as the narrator, makes the show rich and diverse in talent.

With Williams at the helm as director and Chireen Ferreira as vocal director and choreographer, the show is definitely worthy of all the tears shed by both actors and audience!

The sound and lighting also add to the value of the production, coupled with an unforgettable musical score, with Erle Felkers as the conductor.

Originally developed as a school play, Blood Brothers went on to become one of the longest-running musical productions in the history of London’s West End and enjoyed a very successful stint on Broadway.

Blood Brothers runs until March 26. All shows start at 7pm, except on the final Sunday, when it starts at 3pm. Tickets are R100, and for the matinee show, R80. The cost for pensioners and block bookings for 20 people or more is R80. For bookings call (041) 581-4244 (school hours).

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