The Producers – Churchill Theatre, Bromley and Touring

The Producers UK Tour 2015 - Jason Manford as Leo Bloom and Cory English as Max Bialystock  - photo credit Manuel Harlan

Jason Manford and Cory English in The Producers at the Churchill Theatre, Bromley and Touring. Picture: Manuel Harlan

The Producers continues at the Churchill Theatre, Bromley and then tours until 11 July 2015.

Star rating: 4 stars ★ ★ ★ ★

Mel Brooks’ The Producers is a classic comedy musical that has featured a large range of talented comedic performers in the past, including Peter Kay, Joe Pasquale and Russ Abbot. This UK tour of the show goes even further with the casting of Jason Manford, Phill Jupitus and Louie Spence.

Presenting the worse show in town, ‘Springtime For Hitler’, are producers Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom. Manford, who plays Bloom, proves that he is an excellent singer as well as a stand-up comedian.

Cory English was born to play the Napoleon complex character of Max Bialystock. Helped by great characterisation and a remarkable singing voice, it is a fantastic performance. His contribution is vital to the success of the whole evening.

Jupitus throws himself into the role of Nazi sympathiser Franz Liebkind. Each time the performer appears on stage he is hilarious, so much so that I was on tenterhooks waiting for him to return to the stage.

Louie Spence appears as the only character Louie ever appears as and that’s Louie Spence, but his loud personality fits in perfectly with the flamboyantly gay character of Carmen Ghia.

The tall and striking character of Ulla (full name ‘Ulla Inga Hansen Benson Yansen Tallen Hallen Svaden Swanson’) is played by Tiffany Graves and she gives a stunning performance as the Swedish secretary/actress. A particular highlight is her incredibly energetic version of ‘When You’ve Got It, Flaunt It’.

David Bedella appears as the camp theatre director Roger De Bris and gives the best performance of the night. Whether it is the actor and singer‘s first song ‘Keep It Gay’ or his stepping in for a last-minute portrayal of Hitler, he does an outstanding job.

With well-choreographed musical numbers staged by Lee Proud and a host of different sets designed by Paul Farnsworth, the night is masterfully professional and one of excitement and laughter (Matthew White directs). I didn’t see anyone in the whole theatre that wasn’t laughing.

Andy Wilkin

www.theproducersmusical.co.uk/tour

Readers may also be interested in:

Interview – Tiffany Graves having a gigglefest on tour with The Producers

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