The Producers

Date 11th May 2019
Society Battle Amateur Theatrical Society
Venue Battle Village hall
Type of Production Musical
Director Bob Murray
Musical Director Daniel Goodger
Choreographer Abby Doherty

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Author: Gordon Harris

Gloriously camp and provocative, Mel Brooks’ smash-hit musical, ‘The Producers’, was everything it promised to be.

On a typically chilly night in Battle, the musical, directed by Bob Murray, brought us all the glitz, glamour, and sleaze of New York’s Broadway to Battle. I managed to see it in 2002 on Broadway. ‘The Producers’ was adapted by Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan from Brooks’ 1967 film, and transformed into the musical, famed for its distinct lack of subtlety and outrageous use of stereotypes. The original Broadway production Winning 12 Tony Awards on Broadway. Since its successful beginnings, the musical has toured the world, now with its latest reincarnation taking place in Battle.

The somewhat flimsy plot of the musical, a musical within a musical, is based on the discovery of the producer, who writes flops. Max Bialystock (Paul Goring) and his accountant, Leo Bloom (Nathan McDonald) - both parts played exceptionally professionally bouncing off each other, what a team!!! Experienced, yet bankrupt producer, Max Bialystock leads his new weak and vulnerable accountant to commission an outrageous play  ‘Springtime for Hitler’ which Max describes to be “practically a love letter to Hitler“. To add insult to injury, they choose the campest directing team possible, a flamboyant squad of choreographers and assistants led by the magnificent Roger De Bris.(Alexandra Roberts) along with Carman Ghia (Henri Hayler). If you’re looking for subtlety, this show is not for you, as the group perform the number ‘Keep It Gay’. Another well-teamed pair. Ulla played by Hollie Saunters, was the glamour of the production and boy did she have that, a nice balanced performance. Will Spears as Franz Liebkind gave us a strong solid performance with a nice powerful voice. The strong cast was backed up by a big ensemble.

Bob Murray's direction was very slick and he used the stage well to move his cast around. Musical Director Daniel Goodger and his players in the band were excellent, and he had worked hard on his cast to a high standard. Great choreography, well done to Abby Doherty - not easy on such a small stage.