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Review: The Producers, Palace Theatre, Manchester

Tuesday 6th March 2007

Promotional image for the new Mel Brooks Musical.


Peter Kay – What’s all that about? Well what it is about is pure Comic Genius. There are stars that walk onto a stage and the audience start to laugh, others walk on and the audience start to applaud, in Peter Kay’s case you get both! And this in the middle of a show and he hasn’t even spoken a word! Never have I felt such anticipation for the arrival of an actor on stage, you could have cut the atmosphere with a knife and by now it was almost 50 minutes into the show! True to form Peter Kay could not help but adlib whenever possible, much to the amusement of the rest of the cast. He, of course, interacted with the audience with his quick one-liners and raised eyebrows, each one bringing much mirth and merriment to all who watched.

But enough about Peter Kay, what about the show itself? The Producers is pure theatrical magic. Never has the sight of swastika clad pigeons, dancing grannies on Zimmer frames and Nazi Storm Troopers dancing (or should that be mincing?) around a stage brought so much delight. To sum up the plot of The Producers you need to know the following: it was originally a film by Mel Brooks; there is one dodgy producer Max, (Cory English) and a one wannabee producer Leo, (John Gordon Sinclair); a gay director in the form of Roger DeBris (Kay), a sexy blonde (Emma-Jayne Appleyard) and a host of limp-wristed others.

The music and songs flow seamlessly. Some of the songs are so funny you cannot but laugh loudly and as you look around the audience all you can see are huge big smiles on all around. Song highlights were, ‘When You Got It, Flaunt it’ and the hilarious, and never to be forgotten, ‘Keep It Gay.’

John Gordon Sinclair hams it up beautifully and shows his versatility as a singer, but the true acting star of the whole show is Cory English. This diminutive American is one hell of a pocket dynamite, his montage segment, in which he recaps the whole of the show up to that point, is worth the entrance fee alone. Acting wise he is the true star of The Producers, but as far as putting bums on seats and smiles on people’s faces then, of course, Peter Kay is the headline-grabbing superstar.

An excellent evening’s enjoyment. 9/10

Martin Maloney



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“Writing gets me away for a while' from this world and into one where I, alone, can make or
break the rules as I see fit.” - Chris High 2003.
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