Jump to content

Blood Brothers schools edition


Recommended Posts

This topic is identical to the Les Mis topic but oviously with Blood brothers. If anybody has lite the show and have any ideas that they used and worked well it would be greatly appreciated if you could share them with me as I have the first meeting with the director in a few days and want to take a few good ideas with me. Alternativly if anyone has seen the show in the West end or else where and know of any ideas that I could adapt that would be good to. The show has got a budget of about £600 so don't suggest things like 100 movers.


Many Thanks in advance



Link to comment
Share on other sites

I havn't done the production myself but I have seen it. Generic lighting will do. If you have the budget to put a couple of movers in, it could help but they arn't essential from my point of view. You may want to use a wide range of colours for different songs- however particulary in the narator parts maybe a followspot could help and dim the rest of the stage.


What equipment do you have? And how big is the venue & stage?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

While the touring version of the show is a different beast, the West End version is still (well AFAIK) generic lit so it can be done this way. If you ask me it's the sort of show that really doesn't require movers anyway...


If I was doing it, I'd make sure I had a good warm and cold wash for the stage as this will cover most of the songs (with perhaps half body, frosted followspots) and also something different for the narrator led songs - just to break it up. Plenty of oppertunity for snap cues there too, anything dramatic!


Only when this had been covered would I look into other bits and bobs... Spend whatever money you have on essentials, a handul of S4s for specials, gobos etc is going to be a million times more useful than a few movers.


Good luck with it, it's a stunner of a show if you've not seen it before.




Link to comment
Share on other sites

The following thread has recently been discovered from the 1474 www.orange-room.org.it discussion forum:


I have recently been asked to paint the Sistine Chapel. Has anyone done any similar chapels before? Any ideas? Only I've got a meeting with the Pope in a few days time and I want to present him with some good ideas? Thanks, Michelangelo.
I did a chapel in Venice last year. I found magnolia works well on the walls with some gold leaf around the altar. Don't forget to put out a sign saying 'Wet Paint' while you're doing the work. Fredangelo from Pisa.




When you go to the director wouldn't it be good to do so with ideas of your own that you can get really excited about rather than copying from someone else?


I understand your approach but don't think it's the right one. Why don't you just read the script and see what ideas come to you? If there's anything you can't think of ideas for you could come back us and say "how do I get a sudden change from inner city to countryside?" or something equally specific. Then you'd have achieved more on your own and got more specific advice.


You could end up copying what others here suggest and not doing something really original because you didn't have a go yourself. Might end up with a magnolia Sistine Chapel!! ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

... is the Schools edition the Play as opposed to the Musical?

Yes, The schools' edition is different, although still conceived as a musical. The songs are "Marilyn Monroe" (We went Dancing), Mickey's "I wish I were Our Sammy", and the Narrators song ("The Devil's Got Your Number".)

The ending is simpler, with no police, Mrs Lyons doing the shooting, but sadly no "Tell Me It's Not True" song.


We're doing it in January. My thinking's same as Stu's. Good warm and cold washes, followspot, something different for the narrator, and snap cues to keep it moving. Maybe use a couple of gobos (starry night, breakup, L'pool skyline)


I've been reading this thread and discussing it with the set designer, wardrobe, and the production manager. We were thinking start monochrome, snap to colour on Mrs Lyons's House, (as it's Mrs Lyons who establishes the timeline by her costume and house dressing, in our show) but keep the Narrator looking monochrome-ish throughout. Hmmm ;) I'll see how it looks, but I see me telling the director he doesn't like the B&W. (Director has been ill and hasn't been to a production meeting, but we do tell him what he's decided! :nerd: )


Which brings us to an important point. Work closely with the other technical areas to achieve what the director wants. (No point the set designer doing an "Abigail's Party" in 70's orange, on the Lyon house if you kill it with a moody blue wash.)


Also have a look at the Education Pack It's based on the musical, but may give you ideas.

But as everyone else is saying, 1)Read the script - lots. 2) Capture your ideas - how d'you see it? What d'you feel when you read it? 3) Discuss these with the director. 4) Design your plot.


Good luck. Have fun with it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Luke,


I don't know the Schools Edition of Blood Brothers well (although I am very familiar with the West End / Touring versions) and so I don't know how helpful this is, but the thing I try to start with for any musical is the music. Especially for more modern musicals where the trend is for less dialogue and more singing I would try and get hold of a copy of a cast recording for the show and listen to it through, preferably in one session all the way through with my eyes closed imagining what the show would look like in my mind's eye. That will give me a baseline to work from (colours / themes etc) and then I'll hit the script and seek out anything specific I need to include with my themes in the back of my mind.


Then directors come in and tell you exactly what the lighting will look like because they've seen the west end show 200,000 times and want to recreate it! :S


Specifics for Blood Brothers - if you can afford the multiple lantern set up you need then have a general rig with a mix of warm and cold colours so you can alter the mood of the lighting - there are some very solemn and dispairing moments in the show that you want to be able to contrast the lighting in. On the whole it will be general wash lighting, possibly with split stage areas depending on your set design (thinking of the house and street split etc), so get that looking right and then add in any extras you might want such as the fairground, disco lighting (for the rock interlude) and maybe a mirror ball for Marilyn Monroe, stuff like that.


Also I'd go with Some Blokes suggestion - rather than asking a blanket question like 'any ideas', ask about specific concepts that you are struggling with or for peoples opinions on your line of thought - it will make it far easier for more people (who don't necessarily know the show) to access your question and so you will get more points of view.


Best wishes with it - it's a great show!



Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't know the Schools Edition of Blood Brothers well ...but the thing I try to start with for any musical is the music. Especially for more modern musicals where the trend is for less dialogue and more singing

... add in any extras you might want such as the fairground, disco lighting (for the rock interlude) and maybe a mirror ball for Marilyn Monroe, stuff like that.

The Schools Edition is very much a workshop production. Songs can be accappella - Chorus do a Doo-Wop backing for "Marilyn Monroe". Our director has the songs sung/spoken (somewhere between Rex Harrison, John Cooper-Clarke and Shakespeare ;) )

There's no Fairground, Rock Interlude, or Kid's Games (also missing Mickey's "I don't wanna die" speech with Linda.)


What works for me is knowing the script, finding out background, and then planning to express the moods of scenes in lights. I quite agree, the music is more evocative than written word. I bought the full version of the script, so I know where the songs ain't in our version, and can be aware of the author's intent (or at least what he made me feel.)


Luke, try your library for the full script, find a copy of the CD if you can, lose yourself in the play again, and you should find you have more ideas than you can use.


The next fun is how you can do it within the constraints of budget, space, available lanterns, time, and accomodate the ideas of others. (Ken Coker asked good questions. I now want to offer the director the option of more saturated, less subtle warm and cold washes.)


Work out and practice YOUR ideas, come back to us if you have any technical issues, feel free to PM me if there are any plot specific queries you want to bounce off someone, enjoy your show, and show us the pictures afterwards.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.