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Two young men clasping hands as blood brothers


For the highest marks in the exam, you need to be able to show an excellent understanding of the relationship between the themes in the musical and the context in which it was written.


To show that you are writing about ideas in the play in relation to context, you might use sentences such as:


Russell presents the theme of ... to explore the strong class divide during the 60s and 70s.


The theme of ... is presented by Russell who had the intention of showing the impact of social class on someone's life.


Russell's presentation of ... highlights the gender stereotypes that existed during the 60s and 70s.


For each theme explored, think:

How is the theme presented effectively to show us something about what was happening at the time Russell was writing and when he set the musical?

What were Russell's intentions in writing the play and what impact does this have on his audience?


Remember that you also need to closely analyse the techniques that Russell uses to present these themes.


Now have a go at the following activity which will help you to evaluate the effectiveness of the themes in the musical.


You should always refer to your own text when working through these examples.  These quotations are for reference only.


10 questions
The quotations/text used in this exercise are from the copyrighted works of Willy Russell, 'Blood Brothers'.