Manilla Street Productions Present Willy Russell’s BLOOD BROTHERS

Did you hear the tale of the Johnstone twins…?

Melbourne audiences now have the chance to see why Willy Russell’s musical Blood Brothers is hailed as one of the best musicals of all time. Set in 1960s Liverpool in the impoverished county of Mersyside, Blood Brothers tells the tragic tale of Mrs Johnstone and her twins separated at birth and disastrously reunited.

According to the show’s Director Chris Parker, "what excites me most about Blood Brothers is the real characters Willy Russell has captured. The fact that the audience watches the lives of the characters play out creates an incredibly moving tale."

Blood Brothers played more than 10,000 performances to become the third longest-running musical production in West End history due to the show’s emotional impact on audiences. Written by celebrated playwright Willy Russell, whose body-of-work includes the plays, Educating Rita and Shirley Valentine, for which Russell received both BAFTA and Oscar nominations for penning the screenplays of their film adaptations.

The central role of the twins' mother has been played by many famous actors including Barbara Dickson, Stephanie Lawrence, no fewer than four of the Nolan sisters and Petula Clark. In this production, the role goes to the multi talented Chelsea Plumley joined by a stellar ensemble cast including Gareth Keegan and Matthew Bradford whoundertake an unbelievable physical and emotional journey as twins Mickey and Eddie.

This production builds on Manilla Street Productions reputation for producing Australia’s leading theatrical talent in new or little performed works. Manilla Street Production’s last presented the critically-acclaimed play Bad Blood Blues and is currently producing the Sondheim musical Pacific Overtures and the premiere of Where Do I Begin? The Voice of Shirley Bassey, written by Matthew Robinson.

This strictly limited season of Blood Brothers is sure to be the hot ticket for 2014 and premieres 20th March 2014 at The Chapel, Chapel Off Chapel.

Willy Russell’s BLOOD BROTHERS

March 19 – April 6

The Chapel, Chapel Off Chapel

Tickets $40 – $49

Tel: 1300 182183



Chelsea Plumley     Mrs Johnstone

Gareth Keegan        Mickey

Matthew Bradford    Eddie

Lisa Marie Parker    Linda

Glaston Toft              Sammy

Simon Wilton           Narrator

Glenda Linscott       Mrs Lyons

Peter Hardy             Mr Lyons


Creative Team:

Chris Parker             Director

Andrew Patterson    Musical Director

Stephen Agisilaou   Choreographer

Scott Allan                 Lighting Designer

Marcello Lo Ricco    Sound Designer

Gus Powers             Designer



Chelsea Plumley

Chelsea Plumley is a multi-talented, award-winning performer. Over the course of a career that has spanned two decades, she has starred in musical theatre and solo concerts that have garnered a notable reputation for both comedy and dramatic depth. Chelsea has also appeared in films, television series and musical recordings and she continues to have one of the most diverse careers in entertainment.

Her stage credits include: Promises, Promises, Kismet, Sunset Boulevard, Life’s A Circus, (each receiving Green Room Award Nominations), Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Breast Wishes, Company, Grease, A New Brain, Tim Rice’s Concert Spectacular and Masterclass.

Chelsea has toured her self-penned one-woman shows internationally; entertained celebrities and political luminaries for four years in London’s top hotels as piano bar pianist and singer and hosted the worldwide phenomenon Sing-A-Long-A-Sound-Of-Music for twelve years.

On television, Chelsea appeared as guest coach and accompanist on Channel Ten’s I Will Survive; as Rachel in Offspring and as the ‘Queen of the Fairies’ for five seasons on the Channel Nine children's television program, William and Sparkles’ Magical Tales.

Chelsea was included in the inaugural edition of the Who’s Who’s of Australian Women in 2006 and again in 2010.

Gareth Keegan

Gareth graduated with a B.A. of Musical Theatre from The Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts in 2007. His theatre credits include Frederic in The Pirates of Penzance for The Production Company, Stormy in the World Premiere of Cat Steven’s Moonshadow, Gabe in Melbourne Theatre Company’s Next To Normal (Green Room Award Nomination), Alternate Frankie Valli in the Original Cast of Jersey Boys, Phantom Swing in Gale Edward’s The Rocky Horror Show, Young Thing in Hello Again, Ste in A Beautiful Thing at the Stables Theatre, Les Darcy in Nick Enright’s The Good Fight which was part of the New York Music Theatre Festival. He performed at the 2013 Adelaide Cabaret Festival in Tyran Parke’s Compositions, and features on the Album of the same name. Gareth has also been involved in various workshops of new shows such as Dreamlover, An Officer and a Gentlemen, Truth Beauty and a Picture of You: The Whitlams Story, Tim Finn’s The Woman in Black, Matthew Robinson’s Happy People, Gaybies for the Midsumma Festival 2013, The Silver Donkey, Moonshadow Workshop.Television credits include Kurt Cobain in Mr & Mrs Murder, Constable Archie Cooper in Underbelly Squizzy and Rueben Hayes in Dr Blake Mysteries. He voiced the Character of Benny the Bull in Dora the Explorer Live which toured Internationally.

Glaston Toft

Glaston graduated from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts in 2005. Prior to WAAPA, he studied Classical Voice at the Queensland Conservatorium. Most notably, he performed the role of original ‘Four Season’ member Nick Massi in the musical Jersey Boys for over four years. Throughout his time on Jersey Boys, Glaston toured to Melbourne, Sydney, Auckland, Brisbane Adelaide and Perth and appeared on the AFL Footy Show, the 2009 AFL Grand Final, Dancing with the Stars, the Australian Open Final, Sunrise, Carols in the Doman, and Carols by Candlelight. In 2008, he performed in TML Enterprises’ production of SHOUT- The Legend of the Wild One and the national tour of Opera Australia’s My Fair Lady. His other performance highlights include Little Me and Camelot for The Production Company, as well as the workshop of Georgy Girl.


Matthew Bradford

A graduate of the University of Ballarat Arts Academy in 2012, Matthew is excited to be making his Melbourne musical theatre debut with Manilla Street Productions. During his time at the Arts Academy, Matthew performed in the roles of Deputy GovernorDanforth in The Crucible, Alonso in The Tempest, and Peter in The Kitchen. Matthew also featured in the production of Who Saved JFK, playing the role of JFK and the Professor, which premiered at Chapel off Chapel in early 2013.  Matthew appeared in Baker's Dozen Theatre Company's production of Eugene Ionesco's Killing Game, and then returned to the company to play the lead role of Mark Styler in MINDGAME by Anthony Horowitz. Matthew's television credits include an appearance in the first season of The Doctor Blake Mysteries, which aired on the ABC.