The play Blood Brothers was set in Liverpool in 1950’s. There was a huge difference between rich and poor on those days. Most people were facing poverty in those days. This play is all about a women called Mrs Johnstone and her children. She had twins. She couldn’t afford to look after both of them so she gave one away to her employer Mrs Lyons. The play shows the lives of the boys when they grow up and the consequences of the mother’s actions. In this essay we will be focusing and analysing ‘how tension is created at the end of the play which ends in tragedy.
The narrator gives us clues about what is going to happen, which increases tension for the audience. The tension is stretched to the limit when Mrs Lyons shows Edward and Linda to Mickey. This event spurs Mickey on to seek revenge against Edward because he feels betrayed by him and Linda. Mickey reacted by ”comb the town, breaking through groups of people, looking, searching…….. going to do”. It shows that he is out of control and he is counting to kill Edward. This is evident when the writer uses the words like searching, looking, desperate….. ”. He doesn’t even know that what is he looking for or what to do further.
The words that the writer uses to show Mickey’s agitated mood, heightens tension to the audience. Additionally, playing loud music intensifies tension too. The feelings of pressure developed when Mrs Johnstone is in a panic. The sudden and infectious fear in Mrs Johnstone about Mickey and Edward made the audience really tense. We can find Mrs Johnstone is consternated. ”Mrs Johnstone (screaming): Mickey………. Mickey………… ”. She became mad after she seen that Mickey is running out with a gun. Furthermore the above mentioned actions of the mother stirred up the tension for audience.
Other techniques that Willy Russell uses to create dramatic tension in the play are by adding a narrator who intervenes several times during the events of the play. The role of the narrator is to emphasise the superstition of the twins and to keep the audience interested. The tension is stretched to the limit when the narrator enters the stage and says ”you know the devil’s got your number, you know he is right beside you ………….. Today, Today, TODAY” This is significant because in the beginning of the play the narrator said ”you know the devil’s got your number ……. He wants to speak to you …… seen him leaning on your door”.
However now, the focus is in last ‘TODAY’ is in capital letter emphasises this point even more. Another example of this is when the narrator sings the song ‘madman’. As he repeats the lyrics over and over the suspense would build and also the theme of superstition is also repeated and reinforced. Also by using pulsating music the tension is heightened. ”There is a man gone mad in the town ……… devil’s got you number …. he’s calling up today”. This would remind the audience that there is a price to pay for separating twins. I also think that it tells the audience that something important going to happen.
The final scene in the play is set in a very public place, the town hall, and there are councillors and other people as well as Edward. This shows that Mickey doesn’t care about the consequences of his actions. This would also be used to heighten the dramatic tension in the final moments of the play. The tension is heightened when the policeman enters the stage. The tension is stretched to the limit when the policeman calls Mickey ‘Michael’. It makes the scene very serious. When Mickey enters onto the stage, he has a gun held by both hands because his hands were shaking so much.
This would add tension to the scene. Willy Russell has added pauses in areas of high tension so that the audience would be ready for the rest of the scenes and the tension would grow. There were some special effects used through out the play, the main one was the gun shot, this loud sudden bang came after some moments of quietness. When Mrs Johnston enters on to the stage she rushes to Mickey and Edward and tells Mickey ”don’t shoot Eddie he is your brother. You…. of you away”, this creates dramatic tension because Mickey is out of control and he has a gun.
When Mrs Johnston told their sons that they were brothers Mickey realises what sort of life he could have had and he could have been. This made him feels he could be give away. By telling the truth Mrs Johnston actually thought she was helping the situation perhaps that caused both her son’s deaths. I strongly believe, that was successful in creating dramatic tension and suspense throughout the play. By adding another character may make the audience think that Mickey will become even more confused and this may lead to the death of other characters. By Arun John 10 ALP Blood Brothers Coursework Miss Lefteri.