STEVE COOKE AATA
THE PRODUCERS IS A HIT FOR ROCHDALE MUSICAL THEATRE COMPANY
Review of The Producers by Rochdale Musical Theatre Company
By Seamus Kelly
I was at Champness Hall in Rochdale for the opening night of Rochdale Musical Theatre Company’s new production of The Producers.
The Producers is a musical comedy show with the story made famous by a Mel Brooks film and then a Broadway launch of the stage musical in 2001. A Broadway producer, Max Bialystock hits on a scheme with his accountant Leo Bloom to seek funding for a show which will flop and leave everyone out of pocket except themselves.
They find the most likely play to flop, Springtime for Hitler, by Franz Liebkind and having secured the rights they raise $2million from Bialystock’s elderly female admirers and backers. Of course things don’t go exactly to plan and there are lots of complications along the way.
Mike Wignall as Bialystock and Zac Grenier as Bloom were excellent, both giving full-bodied characterisations with high energy singing and dancing. Annabell Taylor as Ulla Ingva…Svanson played the stereotypical blonde Swedish love interest in a suitably over the top manner.
As the story progressed Bialystock and Bloom find their director the extremely camp Roger de Bris with his even more camp “assistant” Carmen. Josh Hindle and Michael Twigg were beautifully over the top in roles that poke fun at our perceptions of gay men rather than the gay men themselves.
The whole cast put on an excellent show and the music played by a small ensemble, led by Musical Director Chris Addington was superb.
Two other actors I singled out are Ben Maguire as the playwright and somewhat crazed Nazi, Franz (with his goose-stepping pigeons and an outrageous German accent) and Steven Cheeseman, in all five of his roles, but especially in his solo as the singing and dancing stormtrooper.
If you enjoy the over-the-top accents, poking fun at Hitler and his followers, exaggerated stereotypes and a heavy dose of irony you’ll have an enjoyable and highly amusing evening.
The over-riding impression was a highly entertaining show, a very happy audience and how brilliant if is to have this quality of live theatre back in the heart of Rochdale. Thanks are due to Rochdale Musical Theatre Company, Champness Hall and the sponsors who have made this possible.
The show runs until 21st May and the next production from RMTC will be Aladdin in December 2022. You can find more details on www.rochdalemtc.co.uk or find the company on Facebook and Instagram.
Comedian Jimmy Cricket meets the cast