The Producers

Date 12th October 2013
Society Wallasey Musical Theatre Company
Venue Floral Pavilion New Brighton
Type of Production musical
Director Iain Lewis
Musical Director Chis Larkin
Choreographer Lynn O,Connor


Author: Patricia Connor

After seeing the film ‘The Producers’ by Mel Brooks I was not sure how I felt about it or that I even liked it as I found the two main characters a little irritating at times. However when I  was asked to go and see this production by ‘Wallasey Operatic Society’ I jumped at the chance as I had been reassured by friends that I would enjoy the live show much better than the film. This was exactly what happened as I found this production very professional, entertaining and thoroughly enjoyable.

The outstanding cast worked very well together and there were no weak links as each one gave a professional standard performance hitting the nail on the head with their characterizations. The cast included a very good performance by Tony Lacey as Leo Bloom who was suitably timid, insecure and a good foil for the character of Max. Nick Wootton produced a spot on characterization of Franz Liebkind; he was very funny and had a good clear German accent.  Leanne Sweeney as Ulla had a very good singing voice and gave a superb rendition of ‘When You’ve Got it, Flaunt it’ I only wish I could do the splits and move as well as Leanne, Bob Chapman as Roger de Bris was suitably camp, his portrayal of Hitler towards the end of the show was very funny and Jonathan Harvey was also suitably camp and funny as Carmen Ghia, Roger’s friend and common law assistant. However amongst all these outstanding characterizations the performance of the night must go to Stuart Raphel for his outstanding portrayal of Max Bialystock. His characterization and American accent were just right for the part, and his rendition of ‘Betrayed’ was one of the main highlights of the evening.  Also there were a number of smaller character parts all undertaken well with enthusiasm. The remaining members of the company who were an intrinsic part of this show supported the principles well, and added to the overall success of the production.  Sometimes when it is called for actors to use accents for a part in a show, diction can be compromised and it can be difficult to follow the story. However even though there were a number of different accents needed for this production, dialogue was very clear and could be easily heard.

Choreography by Lynn O’Connor was well thought out and executed well, it fitted in with the needs of the show and was very important to the success of the production. There were some very nice costumes which were very bright and cheerful and along with scenery and props were very effective adding to the overall successful result. Scene changes were undertaken smoothly and were unobtrusive, so well done to Stage Manager Carl Heyes and his crew. There was some occasional interference on the radio microphones but this did not detract at all from my enjoyment of the show. The Orchestra were very supportive of the cast playing well and were not too loud, well done to Musical Director Chris Larkin.

Congratulations to Artistic Director Iain Lewis and everyone involved for a superb show which I thoroughly enjoyed and I will be very pleased if invited to come back and see your future productions, Thank you for making me so welcome.