Blood Brothers to close in West End

Phoenix Theatre exterior Blood Brothers has played at the Phoenix Theatre since 1991

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Long-running musical Blood Brothers is to end its current run after spending 24 years in London's West End.

The show has its final performance at the Phoenix Theatre on 27 October but will continue to play on tour.

Written by Willy Russell, of Educating Rita fame, the Olivier-winning musical tells of twins separated at birth only to be reunited later in life.

A spokesman for producer Bill Kenwright said it was "the end of a chapter, but by no means the end of Blood Brothers".

Originally staged as a school play in Liverpool, Blood Brothers was first seen in the West End in 1983, with Barbara Dickson in the lead role of Mrs Johnstone.

The show returned to London in 1988 and has remained there ever since, first at the Albery Theatre (now the Noel Coward) and then at the Phoenix.

Petula Clark, Kiki Dee and former Spice Girl Melanie Chisholm - better known as Mel C - are among the other actresses to have played the lead.

The show is perhaps best known for the song Marilyn Monroe, renowned for its melancholy refrain: "Tell me it's not true".

The Blood Brothers announcement follows news last month that Chicago, another West End staple, is to close its doors after nearly 15 years.

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