Blood Brothers Create a header with your name, candidate number

Blood Brothers
Create a header with your name, candidate number & word count
Essentially all you need to do is type
Follow the 3 step rule:
up your answers to the questions in
• WHAT – (task/performance skill)
your booklet - make sure you answer
• HOW – (detailed practical example)
ALL parts of the question!
• WHY – (Effect – include background
Your opening sentence will be the reinformation –what you know about
worded lesson objective which is at
the text/themes & setting of the
the top of the question page
Re-word the answers so it includes
You do not need wordy sentences like
“Miss told us to sit in a circle on the floor
the question. E.g. (What task were
and….” simply say – “we used hot-seating
you set…) We used role play and hotto explore….”
seating to explore the…..
Hot-seating: Develop characterisation – deeper understanding
– forced to consider wider range of aspects (e.g. – question
asked?) Thinking on spot etc
You can find this PowerPoint in Central Resources – Drama –
Key stage 4 – GCSE – Unit 2 Blood Brothers – Blood Brothers
write up 2014
Exemplar materials – Role Play
“For Mickey I instinctively used a
strong scouse accent showing he’s
from a part of Liverpool heavily
populated by workers native to the
area. Running and jumping across
the room, miming a pistol and
making sound effects when “firing”
the gun showed both his age (seven)
and the way he has always
interacted with other children,
helping me understand that Mickey,
lacking the money for real toys, relies
on imagination and playmates for
entertainment, playing well-known
child’s game ‘Cowboys and Indians’.
In contrast, when playing as Eddie …”
“To explore the character further, we
used hot seating, which is used to enable
the actor to understand their character,
by asking and responding to questions in
character. In the hot seating I discovered
Mickey has a short attention span. This
was shown by looking around, not at the
person asking the question, to show how
Mickey cannot stay still, and doesn’t pay
attention, as he has never been paid
much attention. These character traits
linked straight into a still image, with me
sprawled on the floor looking away from
Libbie (Eddie), whilst Libbie stood to the
side looking quizzically down at me. The
levels showed how Mickey was the lower
class boy as he was lower than Edward.
The still-image also showed Mickey’s lack
of attention, as Mickey is not focused on
Edward at all. Edward’s quizzical look
shows how he is not used to people
acting childishly, as he is only used to
adult company”
Obviously you cannot simply copy this – that is plagiarism but do
follow the structure, level of detail and constant linking back!
Playwrights intentions:
Why superstition? each of the
major characters is presented as
being trapped and plagued by
various kinds of bad luck. Russell
forces us to question whether life
pans out because of natural
rather than supernatural reasons;
because of the way we are
educated and live.
So superstition & fate are
reoccurring themes highlighting
death, betrayal, bad luck & loss of
money but also designed to make
us question if these things really
exist or if the blame falls on the
way we are treated due to social
class and education.
Role of the narrator:
• Act as devil
• Foreshadowing deaths of twins
• Constant reminder of themes
and downwards spiral to ‘fate’
• Encourages audience to
Make sure you link WHAT
strategies you used to highlight the
above, HOW you used them
(describe what you practically &
vocally did) and WHY this was
effective – remember to refer to
the points on this slide & your
understanding of Blood Brothers.
You might want to use a text box to highlight the section of script used & annotate using
other text boxes and arrows to save words.
His minds gone dancing - Depression
Playwrights intentions:
Depression: Russell poses the point
that it doesn’t matter what social
class you are from – anyone can
become depressed.
Highlighted through the characters of
Mickey & Linda & the continual
references to Marilyn Munroe.
However the lack of education and
money allows them no real chance of
happiness as they are continually
trapped within societies constraints
especially during economic
Challenges Thatcher's beliefs of ‘if
you work hard, you will be
Focus on the detail in
description of your
physical and vocal
exploration. Use the
Drama Glossary to aid
description (found in
Central Resources –
Drama – Key stage 4 –
Drama Glossary Booklet)
You might want to use a text
box to highlight the
section of script used &
annotate using other text
boxes and arrows to save
We created a series of still images physicalising lines from the song exploring the use of symbolism and
highlighting the playwright’s intentions of emphasising the importance of individual events so that the
audience can reflect on the moments leading to the brother’s deaths. The narrator is a crucial part of the play –
he serves as the storyteller, but also represents the Devil, consistently reminding the audience of the Brothers’
fate, towards the ending appearing more and more frequently, symbolising the imminent death of the twins.
Echoing this line at different times in a
whisper created a menacing, chaotic
atmosphere and communicated the
meaning behind the superstition (when
miners died, it was traditional that their
shoes were placed on their family’s table),
relating to the theme of imminent death
within the play. To show this we used the
scene in the text where Mickey discovers
the gun Sammy has hidden.
Shoes upon the table,
An’ a spiders been killed.
Someone broke the lookin’ glass
A full moon shinin’
An’ the salt’s been spilled.
You’re walkin’ on the pavement cracks
One group used physical theatre
particularly effectively showing a
broken mirror, distorting their
movements and stance, portraying
shards of glass in a circle whilst one
person crouched in the middle gazing at
the floor with a defeated expression,
linking to the idea that breaking a mirror
can destroy a soul. I felt this was
effective in highlighting the idea that
the brothers’ lives are shattered due to
superstition, the “curse” placed on
them both as children.
Showing the moment Edward takes a locket from Mrs Johnstone before moving to the
countryside linked to the “curse” placed on the twins by Mrs Lyons after the boys have
been separated – despite Mrs Johnstone’s superstition, believing that the children could
die if they find out they are brothers, she cannot help speaking to Edward and giving him
the locket, something to remember her by – meaning, in effect, she’s “walking on
pavement cracks”, threatening to release terrible danger by giving Eddie a link to her and
Mickey. We showed this by portraying Mrs Johnstone with her hand on Eddie’s shoulder,
an expression of concern masked with false happiness on their face, and somebody
standing up straight as the Narrator behind them, stern and grim, creating the
impression of an inescapable fate.
Annotating key moments of text can help you to be more concise &
allows you to combine evaluation of your own & others work.
‘His minds gone dancing’
To look at the theme of depression and use of
symbolism in the play we created a set of still
images and transitions based on the lyrics
from the song ‘His mind’s gone dancing’. The
still images showed Mickey’s ‘thoughts’ sat
around him, Mickey being forced the antidepressant and all four actors including
Mickey sat on the floor, showing how he has
been beaten. We used distorted movement
during our first transition; 3 people spinning
around Mickey with splayed hands and taught
muscles, showing snippets of memories such
as when he and Eddie became blood brothers.
Overwhelming emotions are surrounding
Mickey, and spinning his mind out of control
after he assists Sammy with the murder. This
causes his depression, and is another factor
that leads to his downfall. The spinning also
represents the dancing that is pre-mentioned
in the play, which had always been a positive
past time, as it was one of the poor’s few
luxuries, but now has a twisted, negative
Another group showed the theme of
depression by moving in unison around
one person, and creeping up behind him,
to show how it was a cloud of depression
that crept up on Mickey, and that the
depression was bigger than him as he
was outnumbered.
We used still images and transitions to
symbolise Mickey’s thoughts and mind.
The images gave the piece moments of
stillness, showing how Mickey could have
moments of lucidity during his
depression. I think it was important to
recognise both of these states of mind.
This section gave me the chance to see
how much Mickey struggles with his
depression, and it also helped me start to
realise how many different things
contributed to the twin’s downfall in the
end of the play.
Insanity & paranoia – Mrs J & Mrs L
Playwrights intentions:
Social class divide:
Russell highlights how wealth
brings privilege, even down to
the way that the Lyons’ and
the Johnstone’s are treated by
the law.
The four main characters can
be seen to be social
stereotypes, presented
dramatically in order to
emphasise certain important
differences in social class and
opportunities. Russell’s main
intention is to highlight the
unfairness that it results in.
Highlighted through:
• Difference in language
(some highlighted through
• Sentence length
• Use of punctuation
• Sentence construction
Mrs J & Mrs L – Exemplar
We used emotion memory,
enabling us to explore and
develop our understanding of the
emotions needed for this section
and discover how we needed to
use contrast to show the
women’s different social class and
their different personalities and
ways of life. The emotion
memory helped me to capture
Mrs Johnstone’s anger; I sped up
my speech and made it short,
showing the confrontation and
frustration. Slowing down and
pausing at certain points helped
emphasize the meaning behind
certain words.
In contrast, Mrs Lyons’ speech
featured long, thought out
sentences, such as ‘following
me like a shadow’ showing
how she had been thinking
about this for a long time.
Looking at the mothers like
this helped me to appreciate
how many different factors
affected the ending of this
play, and made me realise that
even though both mothers
were trying their hardest to do
the best for their sons, it was
inevitable that the boys would,
as the playwright had always

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