It's funny, its fabulous and its on at The Grand - Liz Coggins reviews the Mel Brooks musical The Producers.
The Producers is an irreverent musical but a brilliant one. A show that sends up Hitler, gay men, lesbians, actors, accountants and old people could easily be seen as offensive – but the fact The Producers is sparkling, spectacular and above all pure entertainment.
The plot revolves around a has been Hollywood producer Max Bialystock and his shy accountant Leo Bloom who has always dreamt being a producer. Bloom tells him that he could, in fact, make more money from a flop than from a hit. Together they decide on a plan and set out to find the most dire plot they can putting it in the hands of the worst director in town.
Matthew White’s production is a seamless, high energy one with outstanding production numbers. Springtime for Hitler with glitter swastikas, gold sequins, giant arms from the wings and a gay Hitler is pure spectacle whilst Keep It Gay, If You’ve Got It Flaunt It and the finale of Act 1 are brilliantly staged.
As Bialystock, the producer who performs favours for his old lady backers, Cory English is amazing . His energy, characterization, agility and his show stopping solo, a synopsis of the whole show in one song, makes his performance one of sheer brilliance.
Prepare to be impressed by Jason Manford proving there’s more to him than being a stand-up comic. As Bloom he’s a believable, all singing and dancing accountant turned producer, matching beautifully with Tiffany Graves as the overtly sexy Ulla.
Campness is a big part of the story and David Bedella as Roger De Bris, the director with a penchant wearing frocks and making every show “gay” and Stephane Anelli as Carmen Ghia, his common law mincing assistant together are “pure gold”
Completing the cast is Ross Noble as Franz an utterly over the top Nazi along with a highly talented ensemble who never seem to pause for breath before creating another character The Producers is a night to remember experience – and one you will certainly want to repeat again.
Runs until 13th June.