X Factor star steps back into musical role

Did y’hear the story of the Johnstone twins? If you have never hear the tale of the ill fated ‘Blood Brothers’ then the Grand Opera House is the place to be when the tour of the hit musical comes to Belfast next month.

By Julie-Ann Spence
Tuesday, 26th July 2022, 1:57 pm
Niki Colwell Evans and the cast of Blood Brothers
Niki Colwell Evans and the cast of Blood Brothers

The rollercoaster of a show, which runs from August 2 - 13, will have you laughing and crying as you follow the Johnstone twins Eddie and Mickey and the ups and downs of childhood, teenage years and adulthood.

Blood Brothers tells the captivating and moving tale of twins separated at birth, who grow up on the opposite sides of the tracks, only to meet again with tragic consequences. When Mrs Johnstone, a young mother, is deserted by her husband and left to her own devices to provide for seven hungry children she takes a job as a housekeeper in order to make ends meet. It is not long before her brittle world crashes around her when she discovers herself to be pregnant yet again - this time with twins! In a moment of weakness and desperation, she enters a secret pact with her employer which leads inexorably to the show’s shattering climax.

X Factor star Niki Colwell Evans will be stepping back into the shoes of the iconic matriarch Mrs Johnstone, a role she first brought to the stage in 2007. “Musical theatre was never on my radar,” admitted Niki. “I was a rock singer before X Factor and it wasn’t something I had pursued before. The producer Bill Kenwright talked to me about Blood Brothers. I sang for him and before I had even left the building they called to offer me the role. That was my first taste of Blood Brothers.”

Now stepping into the role of the beloved Mrs Johnstone for a second time, Niki, who has worked with many of the cast before, said it is like coming back home to family and is thrilled to rejoin the show. “Once you are in the show you really are part of the family,” she continued. “It is a lovely environment. I haven’t done the show since 2012 and I realise now what a big thing Blood Brothers is.

“I cannot believe the reaction I have had this second time around. It really humbles me. I cannot believe how much people are enjoying it. I have definitely improved how I do things and how I play the character. I am not an actor, I have to really be the person, I have to really feel things.

People think Blood Brothers is so upsetting but there is more laughter in it than crying. There is more joyfulness about it,”

Niki is a huge fan of Belfast, first visiting with the X Factor tour, and is excited to be coming back to Northern Ireland. “I love Belfast,” admitted Niki. “I bring people over there for birthdays. It is one of my favourite places. I’ve already booked into restaurants around Belfast, there are so many great places to eat. I absolutely cannot wait.”

Tickets are on sale now from the Grand Opera House Box Office and online at www.goh.co.uk.