Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Oh Brother, They're Back

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Oh Brother, They're Back

Article excerpt

Byline: By Keith Newton

Just when you thought that they would never get the green light to go on the road again, The Blues Brothers are back.

Shouting that they are out on parole and live on stage, Jake and Elwood are touring one more time.

If, like me, you thought you'd seen them take their last curtain call on their grand finale, exit, farewell, this is really goodbye tour, then you were wrong.

"Yes, there have been a few final tours," agrees Mark Lawson, "but people still want it to come back so I don't see why it can't come back one more time.

"There are still people out there who haven't seen it, so long may it continue to tour."

Mark is playing Elwood Blues in the production of The Blues Brothers that comes to the Civic Theatre at Darlington for the week from Monday and then returns to the area to visit the Forum at Billingham from August 25-30. Brad Henshaw plays Jake.

The show was first produced in 1991 and has acquired a huge army of fans, winning new ones every night, setting box-office records and playing to capacity audiences.

Mark has played Elwood in three European tours but this is his first time as one of the leads in Britain though he has been in two previous tours as an understudy.

"I joined as understudy to Elwood and Jake, you can be playing one or the other," he explains. "That can be demanding.

"The current understudy hasn't had to go on in an emergency, I did. It was quite fortunate that I did go on, though the cast might say it wasn't fortunate for them.

"It's a very physical show but there have been few injuries and health problems. It's good experience and good fun. You learn new stuff every day.

"I get on very well with Brad who plays Jake. We're always trying to push the characters in different ways.

"It can be easy to do it just going through the motions but we try to keep it on the edge every single night.

"The show has been going for 12 years and I'm pleased and proud to be part of the process.

It's a good show to be involved with, a good night out. And we have a saying ... 'You can check out of this show but you can never leave. …

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