If you have sisters or brothers then you’ll know the feeling of being compared to your siblings. But imagine having to do a job that three of your sisters had done before you, and to great acclaim. In the part of Mrs Johnstone in the legendary musical Blood Brothers Maureen Nolan is doing just that.

FOR the last four months Maureen Nolan, the third eldest of the veteran girl band The Nolans, has cried every night.

But don’t worry — the tears are all part of the famous final scenes of the play Maureen is currently touring with across the country.

But, although the story of Willy Russell’s Blood Brothers, showing in Maureen’s home town of Blackpool next week, isn’t real, the tears are.

“Oh yes, every night I‘m actually crying. The storyline is so tragic that you can’t help but get totally drawn in by the emotion,” says the 55-year-old.

“I cannot tell you how many times I’ve watched Blood Brothers. It must be more than 20. I can’t remember exactly, that’s why I can’t tell you. I’m an actual stalker. I used to go and watchmy sister Linda when she was Mrs Johnstone and I loved it so much.”

Blood Brothers has been running in London’s West End since July 1988. And in the USA it had a record-breaking Broadway run, being nominated for seven Tony Awards. Telling the moving story of twin boys separated at birth, only to be reunited by a twist of fate, the memorable score includes A Bright New Day, Marilyn Monroe and Maureen’s personal favourite Tell Me It’s Not True.

The twins’ mother Mrs Johnstone has been played by Maureen’s sisters Linda, Bernie and Denise and this isn’t the first time Maureen has been in the role — from 2005 to 2007 she played the part in The West End. However, it is the first time she has toured with the production — although when it suits she will might let people think otherwise.

She said: “Someone said to me recently, ‘I saw you two years ago in Manchester, and you were excellent.’ Knowing that couldn’t have been me and must’ve been one of my sisters, I was so tempted to just say ‘Oh thank you but I did put them right!” she giggled.

“You wouldn’t believe how often people get confused. They always have and I think they always will.”

The Nolan Sisters shot to fame with their smash hit I’m In The Mood For Dancing in 1979. A number of hit singles and albums quickly followed.

Four of the original line-up — Maureen, with her sisters Coleen, 44, Bernie, 48 and Linda, 50 — are set to dig out their Spandex and head back out on the road for a comeback tour later this year, calling at Manchester Apollo on June 13. Far too loyal to her singing sisters to reveal who she thinks is the best at being Mrs Johnstone, Maureen said they all brought different qualities to the role.

“I think I may be bring a more maternal aspect as I am the only one who has had children at the time of playing the part.

“When I auditioned I remember thinking ‘What am I going to do if I don’t get it and three of my sisters have got it before me?’ That could have been very embarrassing.”

And this leg of the tour is going to be Maureen’s favourite, because she will get to go home every night after the curtain falls.

“Next week will be fantastic when I can go home to my own bed. My friends and some family will be coming too. I’m particularly looking forward to this stint.”

l BLOOD BROTHERS — Blackpool Grand June 22 to July 4. Tickets on 01253 290190.