BINGLEY Little Theatre will close their 71st season with the play version of Willy Russell’s famous Blood Brothers.

The musical version is one the most popular British musicals ever, running 24 years in the West End and touring the UK almost constantly for many years.

But it began life as a drama, minus the songs, written by Liverpool playwright Willy Russell specifically to be performed in schools.

Blood Brothers tells the story of twin boys who are separated at birth and brought up in different environments.

Mickey lives with his seven older siblings and his struggling single mother Mrs Johnstone.

Brother Edward, however, is raised as the only child of the wealthy Lyons family, after Mrs Lyons persuades Mrs Johnstone to hand over one of her twins at birth.

Mickey and Edward don’t meet until they are seven years old, but immediately become best friends, and both fall in love with Mickey’s neighbour Linda.

As they get older, the huge difference in their backgrounds pulls them apart with disastrous consequences.

Blood Brothers is at Bingley Arts Centre from July 8-13 July at 7.30pm. Call 01274 567983 to book tickets.

Willy Russell started his working life as a hairdresser, eventually running his own salon, but at 20 he decided to go back to college and qualifying as a teacher.

During that time he also worked as a semi-professional singer, writer and performer of his own folk songs.

He started writing drama at college and soon became one of the country’s most popular playwrights, having tremendous success players like John, Paul, George, Ringo and Bert; Educating Rita; Shirley Valentine and Blood Brothers.

The latter three all winning Laurence Olivier Awards in the 1980s. S