Linda & 3 of her sisters have portrayed Mrs Johnstone in Blood Brothers. Record breakers!

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Illustration above by Ellis Jones (sonofellis7@aol.com) Copyright © Steve Burbridge.

Four Nolan sisters, Maureen, Denise, Linda and Bernie have all played Mrs Johnstone at various times. In 2007 they earned recognition in The Guinness Book of World Records as the most siblings to play the same starring role in a professional production (Blood Brothers).

Linda Nolan first played Mrs.Johnstone at the Phoenix Theatre after Denise Nolan joined the touring cast. She performed there for three years and also went on tour. From 2006, she toured the UK with the production and finished in 2008, after having some time off in between to undergo treatment from breast cancer, which she has now successfully beaten. Linda Nolan is a heart-warming Mrs Johnstone whose portrayal was very popular and won her critical acclaim...

"Linda Nolan gives an emotional performance as the desperate mother".

 "The twins' natural mother, Mrs. Johnstone, played by Linda Nolan, whose stunning performance provided the strong thread that linked all the components parts."

"The musical has not only made an impact on audiences - it's been an integral part of some actors' lives too. None more so than Linda Nolan. She's been playing the lead role of Mrs Johnstone for the past three years, yet puts as much emotion into it now as she did on opening night".

"She's made the part her own and is ideal for it. She looks mumsy, she acts mumsy and even other people's kids can go to her with their troubles. At the end Linda Nolan sheds real tears. She puts so much emotion into her performances she's on the verge of cracking up, as any mother would in her situation. No wonder the Belgrade audience gave her a standing ovation. Not only is Linda Nolan without equal as Mrs Johnstone, the whole cast give unforgettable performances."

  "If this production belongs to anyone, however, it belongs to the indomitable Linda Nolan. Reprising her role as Mrs Johnstone after being diagnosed with breast cancer, Nolan is flawless throughout, belting her way through Russell’s songs with all the heart of a lion. Her journey from happy-go-lucky singleton to middle-aged grandmother is utterly believable, and her powerhouse performance brings the audience to its feet even as the final notes of 'Tell Me It’s Not True' still fill the hall. As the cast emerge for their standing ovation, Nolan wipes the tears from her eyes and punches the air, triumphant once again".

Linda's own take on the role?-“She is a Liverpool mother-of-seven on the breadline who would sell her soul for her children,” she said. It is a fabulous role, I have been playing her for so long it is like having an alter ego, and I often find myself sticking up for her". 

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