Last night I went to see The Producers at Leeds Grand Theatre. The show, based on the Mel Brooks movie musical, has won multiple awards in the past on both sides of the Atlantic. The current UK tour stars Jason Manford and Ross Noble alongside other less well known performers.
The story focusses on a down and out Broadway producer who enlists the help of a spineless and unhappy accountant to produce the worst musical ever in order to make the big bucks. The musical is based on Hitler and therefore chaos follows.
The musical is hilarious, laugh out loud from start to finish. The performances, costumes, choreography and slapstick moments all contribute to this. It is satirical and offensive but done in such a way that you can’t help but want to get up and join in the Nazi goose stepping dance. Some areas looked a little low budget, the pigeon scene for example, but they played this up to add to the overall feel of the piece.
As usual I was slightly disappointed they’d pulled in “famous” faces to draw in the crowds. I was pleasantly surprised by Jason Manford as the accountant Leo Bloom, I had very low expectations initially but actually he gave a fair performance alongside the brilliant antagonist Cory English as Max Bialystock. Ross Noble got some of the humour of Franz Liebkind but his singing was little shaky and Tiffany Graves was wonderful as Ulla. The stand out performances though were from David Bedella and Stephane Anelli as Roger De Bris and Carmen Ghia respectively. Their camp antics had the audience roaring, they were on point.
The Producers is a show for people that aren’t big musical fans as there is more than enough story and subject matter alongside the singing and dancing to keep everyone amused and this touring company do it justice. I would highly recommend for a good night out.