Review of the Producers at The Churchill Theatre
I attended the producers on Wednesday 11th March 2015 and I have to say it’s a show that I have always been fond of despite never seeing it professionally until now. I therefore went with high hopes and expectations.
Overall I wasn’t disappointed. There were elements that could have been enhanced. I felt the set looked a little cheap with the pigeons never coming quite to fruition and the revamped office after Ulla had ‘tidied up’ left me wondering quite what Max and Leo’s surprise was over. Whilst I appreciate this is a set that has to tour, some clever puppetry with the pigeons or more innovative use of colour in the tied up office would have kept me happy on this front. There could have also been more polish – set moving mid scene, tabs not quite covering entrances and exits into wings, Hitler mustaches falling off and missing headpieces for the show girls added to the slightly cheap effect!
This being said I am nit picking. Max was played by Cory English and he was superb. He does have an advantage over other cast members having played this part in the West End previously but he was clearly comfortable in this role and this showed in all of his scenes, especially his big number ‘Betrayal’ near the end. Jason Manford pleasantly surprised me as Leo. His voice held it’s own alongside the rest of the cast although at points his dancing didn’t seem as natural as other cast members this could be put down to characterization!!
I have to also admit that I loved David Badella, played Roger De Bris, in this role. It showed that he can literally turn his hand to anything and carried off the role with hilarity. Louie Spence, paying Carmen, on the other hand, whilst funny was simply Louie Spence on stage, essentially playing himself. He seemed keen to be the star and the focal point when ever he was onstage which then jarred his relationship with Roger.
Tiffany Graves was wonderful as Ulla. Not only did she long great, which for Ulla, is key but she sang it wonderfully. Not only in her big number but her other more tender moments with Leo really showed her range. Her characterization was constantly spot on.
A nod must also go to the ensemble who appear as everything from showgirls to grannies and from Nazis to theatre goers. They look at ease in all parts.
The choreography for the show was also unexpected and the Opening was a highlight for me, with an approach to the movement I wouldn’t expect, but made me like it more. That being said I did want the zimmer frames in ‘Along Came Bialy’ rather than a tap number!
Overall I enjoyed the show and am glad that I can now say I’ve seen the Producers professionally!