Interview with Maureen Nolan as she takes up Blood Brothers role in Coventry

One part of the eighties singing sensation the Nolan Sisters, Maureen Nolan is a self-confessed “Blood Brothers stalker”.

Maureen Nolan as Mrs Johnstone and Sean Jones as Mickey in Blood Brothers, coming to the Belgrade Theatre.
Maureen Nolan as Mrs Johnstone and Sean Jones as Mickey in Blood Brothers, coming to the Belgrade Theatre.

It’s therefore not hard to imagine her enthusiasm and passion for playing the role of Mrs Johnstone in Willy Russell’s multi-awarding Liverpool-based show, which is starting a two-week run at the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry tonight (Monday).

Speaking to the Courier, Maureen said: “I have seen it 18 times before being in it. I am the official Blood Brothers stalker! I felt I knew Mrs Johnstone so well that I didn’t have to research the role. I base her on my own mother. We grew up on a council estate in Dublin and like Mrs Johnstone, her whole life was about her children.”

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Playing Mrs Johnstone in the show - which tells the story of a set of twins who are separated at birth and have very different upbringings - is also special to Maureen because she is the fourth Nolan sister to take up the role.

Maureen Nolan as Mrs Johnstone, Sean Jones as Mickey and Simon Willmont as Eddie in Blood Brothers, coming to the Belgrade Theatre.

She said: “My sisters were my blueprints. I never thought I would play the part, but when I got it, I thought I’ll do it just the same. But then there are parts when you think, I’d do it differently.

“None of my sisters had had a child when they played Mrs Johnstone and I have, so maybe I bring something maternal to it.”

Despite having performed the part in the West End from 2005 to 2007 and on tour since last autumn, Maureen treats every show like the first. She said: “The audiences are always so engrossed that I said from the beginning that I would never short-change them. It was amazing to play it in Liverpool last year, but you get amazing audiences everywhere.”

The show runs from tonight (January 27) to Saturday February 8. Tickets cost from £22 to £40.75. Call 024 7655 3055 or visit www.belgrade.co.uk