In the play Blood Brothers, Willy Russell hangs his story on the superstition that Mrs Lyons uses to trap Mrs Johnstone in silence: that superstition which the is, that should Mickey and Edward discover their brotherhood, they will both die.
We see a huge contrast between Mrs Lyons and Mrs Johnstone. At the beginning of the play, the narrator describes the Mrs Johnstone, the mother, as “cruel”. As we continue with the text, we begin to comprehend with the characters more fully. Referring back to the scene where Mrs Johnstone allows the boys to watch” Swedish Au Pairs”. Mrs Lyons would not be as permissive or tolerant, the reason for that is because she is a higher class.
The audience will understand that Mrs Johnstone is more capable and has a better understanding of the fact that young boys are sexually curious, and she does not suppress them. As the play continues, we see Mrs Johnston as a more approachable mother, rather than viewing her cruel mother. We tend to sympathise with the difficulty. We see her handle her house full of children with continuous forbearance and with tolerance.
This quote shows the audience this: we see Mrs Johnstone refuse money from the determined Mrs Lyons, which I think is the climax in the play.
Mrs Lyons: “Thousands… I’m talking about thousands if you want it, and think about what you could do with money like that.”
Mrs Johnstone replies: “I’d spend it; I’d buy more trash that’s all. I don’t want your money. I’ve made a life here. It’s not much of one maybe but I made it”.
As shown in the above, Willy Russell use foreshadowing because Mrs Lyons sees money as a solution for Mrs Johnston’s situation. Mrs Lyons is seen with more authority. We feel that she does seem to lose control at times, for example, when she attempted to attack Mrs Johnstone with a kitchen knife. The reason for that may be due to her lack of wealth and money she owns, but is unable to have a baby of her own.
Mrs Lyons also mentions that Mrs Johnston is already in trouble with the welfare, which makes Mrs Johnston think it's a better idea to give one of her babies away. Mrs Lyons makes her swear down on the bible. She is taking advantage of Mrs Johnston again, because she knows she's a strong Christian and will find it very hard to go back on her word.
Willy Russell continues to use the techniques of writing in his play. The tragic effect of the brothers who have separated and are still friends comes from the knowledge that they are brothers, of which they are unaware. This is dramatic irony; also there is a use of humour continuously throughout the text. One way Russell portrays the story in an effective way to engage the audience, is by using dramatic tension.
This is done by reminding us of the superstitious curse Mrs Lyons has made; the writer gives us an understanding of the tragedy ahead. We are constantly reminded of the curse by the repetition of the song sung by the narrator,” shoes upon a table”.