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Identify and Explain Key Characters in 'Blood Brothers'

In this worksheet, students will revise key facts about each of the characters in 'Blood Brothers'.

'Identify and Explain Key Characters in 'Blood Brothers'' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 4

GCSE Subjects:   English Literature

GCSE Boards:   Eduqas, Pearson Edexcel, AQA

Curriculum topic:   Post-1914 Prose / Drama, Post-1914 Play or Novel, Modern Texts: Drama

Curriculum subtopic:   Blood Brothers

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

What do you know already about the characters in 'Blood Brothers'?

 

Two young men clasping hands as blood brothers

 

The main characters we meet in the play are: 

Mrs Johnstone - The mother of the twins

Mrs Lyons - Persuades Mrs Johnstone to give her one of her twins

Mr Lyons - married to Mrs Lyons and is unaware that Eddie is not really his child

Mickey - grows up with his real mother Mrs Johnstone and the rest of his family

Edward - given away as a baby to Mrs Lyons

Linda - close friends with Mickey and Edward

Sammy - Mickey's older brother

The narrator - sometimes plays other roles such as the milkman and teacher and sometimes is a mysterious character who comments on the action in the play

 

In the Literature exam, you may be asked to write about how a particular character is presented in 'Blood Brothers'.

 

Have a go at the following activity to revise the key ideas about each of the characters in the play.

 

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

 

Which character in the play gives one of her babies away?

What social class does Mrs Johnstone represent?

Middle class

Working class

Upper class

What social class does Mrs Lyons belong to?

Match the following quotations to aspects of the narrator.

Column A

Column B

"So did y'hear the story of the Johnstone twins?"
He creates an ominous tone.
"How swiftly those who've made a pact, Can come to...
He takes on different roles such as the milkman.'
"Yes y'know the devil's got your number"
The narrator watches and comments on the action.
"Now you've been told, no money, no milk"
The narrator helps set the scene in a prologue.

Which quotation shows that Mrs Johnstone is a superstitious character?

"He must have shook hands with me before he left"

"New shoes on the table, take them off..."

"Having babies, it's like clockwork to me"

Match the characteristics below to the correct twin during childhood.

Column A

Column B

Mickey
Uses swear words for show.
Mickey
Is picked on by his older siblings.
Mickey
Kind and happy to share.
Edward
Clean and well dressed.
Edward
Well spoken and polite.
Edward
Idolises his older brother's naughty behaviour.

What happens to Mickey as he grows up?

Gets sacked and then can't find another job.

Goes to university.

Gets depressed.

Goes to prison.

Gets a good job as a councillor.

Mickey and Edward both love the same person. What is her name?

What do you know about Sammy?

He goes to university

He robs the bus conductor

He is on the dole

He marries Linda

He shoots someone during the robbery

What happens to Mickey and Edward at the end of the musical?

He goes to university

He robs the bus conductor

He is on the dole

He marries Linda

He shoots someone during the robbery

  • Question 1

Which character in the play gives one of her babies away?

CORRECT ANSWER
Mrs Johnstone
EDDIE SAYS
Mrs Johnstone gives one of her babies away. She is working as a cleaner for Mrs Lyons and tells her that she will struggle to feed two babies. Mrs Lyons, who can't have children of her own, persuades Mrs Johnstone to give her one of her babies so that she can bring it up as her own.
  • Question 2

What social class does Mrs Johnstone represent?

CORRECT ANSWER
Working class
EDDIE SAYS
Mrs Johnstone is working class. In the opening scene, we see her struggling to pay her bills and to feed her many children - Mrs Johnstone shows how working-class people during the 60s and 70s when the play was set, struggled in poverty. She works as a cleaner for Mrs Lyons and agrees to give her one of her babies - Mrs Johnstone worries that she won't be able to afford two babies when she discovers she's having twins and in her desperation to give both children the best lives, she agrees to give one of her babies away. This demonstrates just how desperate she must have been.
  • Question 3

What social class does Mrs Lyons belong to?

CORRECT ANSWER
Middle
Middle class
EDDIE SAYS
Mrs Lyons represents the middle class. Her life is a stark contrast to Mrs Johnstone's. She can afford a cleaner, lives in a nice house and has the money to buy what she pleases.
  • Question 4

Match the following quotations to aspects of the narrator.

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

"So did y'hear the story of the J...
The narrator helps set the scene ...
"How swiftly those who've made a ...
The narrator watches and comments...
"Yes y'know the devil's got your ...
He creates an ominous tone.
"Now you've been told, no money, ...
He takes on different roles such ...
EDDIE SAYS
Did you manage to match them all? The narrator is a mysterious character who adds to the dramatic tension in the musical. He has lots of different roles. He comments on the action of the characters and adopts lots of different roles such as the milkman, the judge and the teacher. He also helps develop the idea of superstition and fate by creating an ominous and threatening tone through his dialogue and the lyrics in his songs.
  • Question 5

Which quotation shows that Mrs Johnstone is a superstitious character?

CORRECT ANSWER
"New shoes on the table, take them off..."
EDDIE SAYS
Did you spot the second one? Superstitions are a belief in a supernatural power that will result in good or bad luck. Putting shoes on the table is meant to result in bad luck if you believe in the superstition. Mrs Johnstone is shown to be superstitious very early on in the play. What other superstitions are referred to in the play?
  • Question 6

Match the characteristics below to the correct twin during childhood.

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

Mickey
Is picked on by his older sibling...
Mickey
Uses swear words for show.
Mickey
Idolises his older brother's naug...
Edward
Well spoken and polite.
Edward
Kind and happy to share.
Edward
Clean and well dressed.
EDDIE SAYS
Did you manage to match them all? In the song 'My Best Friend' we see Russell completely contrast the two twins. They both admire the other one's qualities but it's very clear that their upbringings are very different. Mickey is part of a large family and doesn't have a dad in his life so looks up to his older brother, Sammy. He's picked on and has to fight for attention but idolises his older brother and wants to do the naughty things he does. He uses rude words to impress Eddie. Edward is Mr and Mrs Lyon's only child and has a much more privileged upbringing. We learn of how clean and well dressed he is, see how polite and well mannered he is and that he is happy to share his sweets with Mickey- something Mickey isn't used to in his family!
  • Question 7

What happens to Mickey as he grows up?

CORRECT ANSWER
Gets sacked and then can't find another job.
Gets depressed.
Goes to prison.
EDDIE SAYS
Did you find three? Mickey's working class life is a struggle. As he grows up, we see him in a boring job that he gets sacked from. He then can't find any more work. Desperate for money, he agrees to keep lookout for Sammy who's taking part in a robbery, in return for 'fifty quid'. He gets caught and goes to prison. We see how depressed he is and that he has to take anti-depressants. The unmarked answers above actually relate to Eddie who leads a much more privileged life.
  • Question 8

Mickey and Edward both love the same person. What is her name?

CORRECT ANSWER
Linda
EDDIE SAYS
Did you get Linda? Linda is first friends with Mickey and wants to be his girlfriend. Mickey is slow to make his move! Edward expresses how he feels for her but stays loyal to Mickey initially. Russell foreshadows a love triangle developing between the three here! Later in the musical, we learn that Linda becomes pregnant with Mickey's child and her future is then decided for her as a wife and mother. However, in her loneliness living with a depressed Mickey, Linda looks to Edward for support. They end up having an affair which Mickey finds out about. At this point, things then spiral out of control to the final tragic ending.
  • Question 9

What do you know about Sammy?

CORRECT ANSWER
He robs the bus conductor
He is on the dole
He shoots someone during the robbery
EDDIE SAYS
Did you spot the three correct ones? Sammy is Mickey's older brother and shows how the working class struggle affected people. He is unemployed throughout the musical and stays on the dole, meaning he is receiving benefits. He turns to a life of crime to survive. He 'produces a knife' to rob the bus inspector and he shoots the petrol station attendant and is caught by the police near the end of the musical.
  • Question 10

What happens to Mickey and Edward at the end of the musical?

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
How did you do? We know that the brothers will both die - the musical opens with the narrator's prologue that tells how the story will play out. We are then shown the events that lead to this conclusion before seeing their deaths replayed at the end. All the same, Mrs Johnstone's closing song 'Tell me it's not true', reflects the huge misfortune of the story.
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