The Producers (2016)

Cast:

Max Bialystock - Alistair Davies

Leo Bloom - Adam Collins

Franz Liebkind - Jack Heaton

Roger DeBris - Jonathan Mitchell

Carmen Ghia - Tom Williams

Ulla - Eve Haslam

Hold Me-Touch Me - Grace McCaul-Lowe

Usherettes - Emily Priestley & Rhiannan Wheeler

Mr Marks - James Wright

Ticket Taker - Alicia Styles

Violinist - Zamira Brown

Police - Conor Feste, Mary Clare, Connor Gibson

Roger's Team:

Penny Draper, Alice Fairhurst, Connor Gibson, Gabby Dawber

Chorus/Convicts/Accountants:

Beth Murray, Connor Gibson, Conor Feste, Gabby Dawber, Mary Clare, Penny Draper, Alice Fairhurst, Grace McCaul-Lowe, Emily Priestley, Rhiannan Wheeler, Alicia Styles

Dancers:

Emily Spratt, Samantha Roberts, Laura Racz, Alice Fairhurst, Lucy Ellison, Emily Fairhurst, Hannah Gordon, Charlotte Guy, Caitlin Jones, Sophie Phillips, Bethany Thomas, Gemma Thomason, Imogen Walker

Award Nominations:

  • Best Production

  • Best Male in a Lead Role - Alistair Davies.- WINNER

  • Best Male in a Lead Role - Adam Collins

  • Best Female in a Lead Role - Eve Haslam

  • Best Male in a Supporting Role - Jonathon Mitchell

  • Most Entertaining Male - Jack Heaton - WINNER

  • Best Choreographer - Rebecca McDonald

  • Best Artistic Director - David Wall

  • Best Musical Director - David Wall

NODA Review

Mel Brooks’s 2001 Broadway production of The Producers was adapted from his 1968 film of the same name and it is a comical yet cynical observation of the ambitious and, exploitative side of the entertainment business. If this show is going to work it is important, that all the cast have a good understanding of the characters they are playing, that they work together as a team and  all have good comic timing, enabling them to work with and perform the daring funny material that Mel Brooks has provided, in other words, this show must be slick, funny and well-presented and this production from St John Rigby College had all the right people and ingredients to make it a success, which I am very happy to say they did.
 
The story concerns Max Bialystock, an over the top failing Broadway producer who raises money for his shows by seducing old ladies, giving them pet names such as Hold Me- Touch Me. The central role of Max was played with strength maturity and good comic timing by Alistair Davis who was well complimented by Adam Collins as Max’s partner and sidekick the timid accountant Leo Bloom. Leo arrives to audit Max’s books for the Internal Revenue Service and suddenly realizes that money can be made by producing a Broadway flop, so they both come up with an idea, of producing the worst ever musical to be performed on Broadway that will hopefully make them lots of money. They look through many scripts and finally come across one by ‘ex’-Nazi storm trooper Franz Liebkind, brilliantly played by Jack Heaton, their hope is that it will be the most offensive musical ever performed as it tells the story of the rise of Adolf Hitler in song and dance. Max and Leo are joined by Ulla played by Eve Haslam who sang well producing a respectable Swedish accent, they make her their assistant after seeing her audition for the show, during which they both fall under her spell which causes some problems later in the story when she favors Leo. They also ask the worst Director on Broadway the colourful Roger DeBris to direct the show played wonderfully flamboyant by Jonathan Mitchell with Tom Williams as his equally flamboyant assistant Carmen Ghia. The principle characters were well supported by the cast in the supporting roles and also by the ensemble who produced a number of very funny individual characters of their own. I would like to mention Emily Priestley and Rhiannan Wheeler as the Usherettes who sang very well and Grace McCaul-Lowe as Hold Me- Touch Me. Diction and clarity of words along with accents were generally good meaning the story could be followed easily by the audience. The talented young orchestra led by Musical Director David J Wall played admirably supporting the cast excellently and choreography by Rebecca McDonald   assisted by Alice and Emily Fairhurst was very well performed by the dancers. I must admit I was a little disappointed at first when there were no lines of dancing zimmer-framed old ladies performing the iconic dance associated with this show, however I have to admit that the routine performed with walking sticks which replaced it was very enjoyable and innovative.

 

Scenery was minimalistic and there was very good use of the stage area which was split into three areas meaning there was smooth transition from scene to scene enabling the show to run at a good pace, well done to all the backstage and technical crew. It was also obvious a great deal of thought had gone into getting the costumes just right, which enhanced the overall feel of the production.

 

Just some constructive comments to be aware of for the future, there were occasional tuning issues from some of the principle cast and also the ensemble, but listening carefully to the notes the orchestra are playing will help as they can support you and may be playing the notes that should be sung, also in some production numbers the ensemble appeared a little unsure of when to sing. However, I am glad to say this was a very funny enjoyable production of a difficult show to perform, so I would like to congratulate David J Wall and all the students, staff, parents and friends from across all the different departments who took part in or helped with this unconventional show, which is a very funny satire of the business side of Broadway. Thank you for inviting us, we hope to see you again soon

IMG_2147
IMG_2147

press to zoom
IMG_2313
IMG_2313

press to zoom
IMG_2308
IMG_2308

press to zoom
1/21