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I LUV BRUV; Fan pays pounds 80k to see musical 1,801 times.

Byline: ROD CHAYTOR

THEATRE fan Julie Wakefield can't get enough of her favourite show - in fact she's spent pounds 80,000 seeing it 1,801 times.

Her obsession started back in 1987 when her parents bought her a ticket for the Willy Russell play Blood Brothers.

Since then, legal secretary Julie, 37, has spent her holidays and days off following the play all over Britain. Her quest has taken her as far as Glasgow and Southampton from her home in Solihull, West Midlands.

And she always sits in the front row - singing along to the songs she now knows by heart.

At around pounds 25 a seat, she reckons that, over 15 years, she has spent pounds 40,000 on tickets - and a similar sum on travel and hotels. Blood Brothers is a narrated musical about twins separated at birth who keep meeting throughout their life, unaware of their real relationship to each other.

She said: "I absolutely adore the story and the songs. I first saw it when my parents took me to see it at the arts centre at Warwick University. It was my first theatre trip and I loved it."

A show spokesman said: "People do return a few times, but to see it for 2,000 is some going."

In the last fortnight, Julie saw it six times at the Birmingham Hippodrome. This week, it moved 120 miles to Bromley, Kent, but she confirmed: "Yes, I'll be going at least once or twice."

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OBSESSION: Julie
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Nov 20, 2002
Words:251
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