The Producers, The Burton Musical Theatre Company, de Ferrers Academy. Harehedge Lane, Burton.
A 16 piece orchestra under the direction of David Blackwell provides the music for director Karen Hambleton’s wonderful cast to sing and dance their way through the musical version of Mel Brooks’ The Producers.
Steve Foster, as Max Bialystock, turns in a performance that on another occasion would be a show-stealer but I’m delighted to say that the other principals more than hold their own to provide a good opening night audience with an evening’s entertainment.
Oly Wright plays Bialystock’s accountant, Leo Bloom, who points out that if a show is a flop he can make more money than with a success which leads the two of them to Andrew Hambleton’s Franz Liebkind who has penned the sure-fire disaster that is Springtime for Hitler.
Along the way the duo pick up wannabe Swedish actress Ulla, a vampish turn from Christina Bailey, plus OTT gay director Roger Debris, played by Mark Hargreaves and his coterie of gay housemates led by the ever wonderful Grant Fern.
This is the way, and these are the characters, that Bialystock and Bloom will rely on to produce the biggest flop in Broadway history – but this is a musical and we all know that nothing ever turns out the way it is meant to in a musical.
The ensemble cast, playing several parts, also show their mettle bringing vitality and precision to the dance numbers that have been well-choreographed by Catherine Moore.
Having such a large orchestra has paid off with a richness and depth to the sound and there are laughs with the interaction between cast and conductor.
I am a big fan of The Burton Musical Theatre Company’s policy of bringing newer musical shows to the town along with the more traditional fare. Although The Producers has a few risque moments, and dancing Nazis, there is much there to delight Burton audiences and I hope that many of you will go along and support their endeavours this week.
The Producers is being staged at de Ferrers Academy, Harehedge Lane site, until Saturday, October 31st, at 7.30pm every night and a matinee at 2.30pm on Saturday.