Globe columnist Peter Grant meets Lyn Paul – star of Blood Brothers - ahead of its visit to Storyhouse, Chester.

"IT will all end in tears..." 

That phrase certainly applies to singing star and actress Lyn Paul.

When her character of Mrs Johnstone sings the plaintive classic Tell Me It’s Not True at the finale of the smash hit musical Blood Brothers, Lyn knows she will end each performance crying.

It’s for real.

Wirral Globe:

Blood Brothers: Lyn Paul as Mrs Johnstone in a previous production

Lyn told the Globe: "As the mother of a 28-year-old son I only have to look at the boys on the stage and I feel such emotion every single time.

"I know that it will affect me forever and I know how much it touches people in the audience.

"I sob for real.’’

Blood Brothers, written by Willy Russell in 1983, tells the tale of twins, separated at birth who grow up on opposite sides of the tracks only to meet again, but with fatal consequences.

It’s not just Lyn who is in tears but it has critics moisty-eyed too, me included.

I have seen many Mrs Johnstones in my career as a critic over the 30 years, I have watched Barbara Dickson, Stephanie Lawrence, Kiki Dee and Helen Reddy to name a few who have put on the pinny and sang their hearts out.

The role calls for strong acting skills and a powerful voice and stage presence to convey sadness and humour in equal measure.

Lyn has always been outstanding.

Many reviewers rate her as the "definitive Mrs J." 

Modest Lyn says that the real star is the long-running show itself which has been a success all over the worked from Liverpool to Japan.

Lyn, who made her Blood Brothers debut in 1997, says: "I know how much it means to people because I know how much it means to me.’’

I saw her last year at the Liverpool Empire’s 150-year celebration in the presence of HRH Prince Edward.

It was a triumph all over again.

The theatrical Prince took time to congratulate the whole cast.

Blood Brothers ran in London for 24 years and Lyn has in her own right enjoyed 20 years playing the role of the poverty-stricken mum who has to make the most gut-wrenching decision of all.

She is enjoying the current 30th anniversary tour and looking forward to playing Chester where she will be making her debut.

She is one of the stars to grace the new Storyhouse stage in its autumn season.

Wythenshawe-born Lyn, a member of the New Seekers from 1971 to 1974, has actually been in show business since she was 14 years old.

Now aged 68, the multi-talented Lyn is as enthusiastic about her work as she was as a member of her touring group with two friends called the "Chrys-Do-Lyns " playing the working men's clubs.

"We got in a van driven by my dad and played everywhere and that certainly meant playing venues around Wirral,’’ recalls Lyn.

But playing Mrs J (as she affectionately calls the woring-class mum) is her all time favourite role.

And she says that writer Mr Russell stands out as one of the country’s greatest writers.

"I am amazed at how he manages to get inside a woman’s psyche.

"When I first heard about Blood Brothers I didn’t want to see it.

"I was told it was about grown men playing boys. When I eventually went to see it I was in floods of tears. Yes, even that first time and I wasn’t even in it.

"I knew one day I had to play Mrs J.’’

Before her big theatrical break, Lyn had enjoyed stardom not only an international pop singer with Eurovision stars New Seekers and a solo career. She went on to shine in TV’s Emmerdale.

It was a letter to Bill Kenwright encouraged by her late inspirational mum that landed a meeting with Mr K.

The rest is history for the down-to-earth Lyn.

She says fans mean the world to her.

"They have put me where I am today. I love to communicate with them through my website. I love to hear what they think of each show and I am so grateful they follow what I am doing."

Lyn is also a huge fan herself...of producer Bill Kenwright.

"He changed my life, I had never acted before.

"I never believed he would write back to me let alone invite me to London to audition. That man doesn’t realise just how much he has been a major part of my life.

"I would do Blood Brothers as long as he wanted me to.

"I said to him once, "Bill, I’ll be doing this show even when I get a Zimmer frame."

He smiled and said: "I know, Lyn, you will." 

One thing is certain Lyn Paul will sing and act her heart out in this classic show that she treasures.

If you haven’t seen Blood Brothers it would be a crying shame to miss one of the greatest musical performances by a truly versatile star.

Willy Russell’s Blood Brothers –The Musical at the Storyhouse, Chester.

From October 9 to October 14. 

Box office: 08448 157 202.