Tag Archives: The Producers

REVIEW: The Producers – Theatre Royal, Glasgow

Adapted by Mel Brooks from his own 1968 Oscar-winning movie, The Producers proves to be just as much a winner as it was when it first appeared on stage in 2001, accumulating as it did a record-breaking 12 Tony Awards. This brand new production with a dream central casting ensures that the laughter shows no sign of stopping.

The Producers UK Tour 2015 - Tiffany Graves as Ulla and Jason Manford as Leo Bloom - photo credit Manuel Harlan

The premise is as simple as it is preposterous: Broadway producer Max Bialystock’s glory days are behind him, but when naive accountant Leo Bloom arrives on bis doorstep, opportunity knocks. Bloom is a frustrated producer and when he mentions in passing that Max could make more money from a flop than a hit, the pair team up to present the worst play ever written.

Utterly, completely and gloriously politically incorrect, this high-octane, sassy satire pokes fun at every Broadway stereotype you might care to think of, but in doing so with affection and heart, gets away with it.

Producers 05.15-27

The cast couldn’t be better: Corey English (Max), a veteran of both the West End and touring productions of the show, knows this part from its head to its toes and delivers a stand-out performance that can’t be faulted. The casting of two of Britain’s best-known stand up comedians: Jason Manford as Bloom and Ross Noble as lederhosen-clad, Nazi nutcase and author of the ‘world’s worst play’, Franz Liebkind, may seem at first glance to be shameless star casting but the pair more than justify their presence. Manford is no stranger to musical theatre having appeared in Sweeney Todd with Michael Ball and Imelda Staunton, and his fine voice is an asset to the production. It must be said though, at the beginning he appeared less than sure-footed but soon settled into the role. Noble though, is a revelation, his maniacal, gimlet eyed turn is accompanied by better-than-good acting, singing and dancing chops.

Producers 05.15-62

The trio are more than ably supported by theatre veterans David Bedella as Roger DeBris (a knock-out Hitler in a gold sequinned jacket and leather pants), Stephane Anelli as camper-than-a-row-of-tents assistant Carmen Ghia, as well as a solid ensemble, worthy of note too is Jay Webb’s beautiful vocal on “Springtime for Hitler”.

Screen Shot 2015-06-18 at 11.42.59

You really would have to have  had a sense of humour bypass not to love it. Who could fail to laugh at songs such as: ‘Springtime for Hitler’, ‘Keep it Gay’ and ‘Haben Sie Gehört das Deutsche Band’? The show endures for good reason, great script, great songs and a big heart. Miss it at your peril.

Runs until Sat 20 June 2015 then touring

This review was originally written for and published by http://www.thepublicreviews.com at: http://www.thepublicreviews.com/the-producers-theatre-royal-glasgow/


REVIEW: The Producers – Hamilton Town House

Another adventure into the world of the Am-Drams, this time Hamilton Operatic & Dramatic Club. Now I’ve seen this at The Theatre Royal Drury Lane with Lee Evans in the starring role so I wasn’t exactly expecting anything on that scale, but, based on their high quality track record I was looking forward to this. The story goes…

“After putting together another Broadway flop, down-on-his-luck producer Max Bialystock teams up with timid accountant Leo Bloom in a get-rich-quick scheme to put on the world’s worst show.”

Well with a cast of 46, a musical ensemble of 18 and 17 scene changes, in a theatre that last hosted Bill Kenwright’s Joseph production, this was a huge undertaking. Apart from a few stray hands creeping out from the curtains to grab bits of scenery, this was approaching professional standards.

The most impressive thing were the singing voices of the two male principals; Gordon Watson as Max Bialystock and Paul Gilliland as Leo Bloom – just fantastic professional quality, both of whom also maintained excellent American accents throughout. Also deserving of a mention were Peter Scally as Franz Liebkind and John Carr and Ray O’Sullivan as Roger De Bris and his “common law assistant” Carmen Ghia. All three appeared to be more than relishing their roles!

The only weak link in the leads was Ulla played by Suzanne Gilliland who had the worst comic Swedish accent – totally unintelligible – now I know this is meant to be a caricature but she needs to be at least clear in the words she’s mangling to get the laughs. The fact that she was short and wearing a really badly fitting wig didn’t help either.

While not matching the 1968 Mel Brooks film for sheer hysteria it was packed with plenty of laughs. Oh and special mention must also go to the fabulous quality of the programme. On the basis of this it will be well worth checking out their future productions. Highly recommended.

all production pics from here