3rd May 2018
Newtown Musical Theatre Company
Dawn Jones, Kat Bond
Author: Lyn Emmerson
This was the first time I had seen The Producers and was wondering what I would make of it. I had heard varying reports regarding The Producers, but all my fears were allayed. In a nutshell, it was brilliant! Newtown MTC pulled out all the stops with this one and thoroughly deserved the accolade they received. Even though it was opening night the company were on course for another success to their repertoire.
From the opening scene with Cynthia and Gloria, the two Usherettes, enthusiastically played by Sonia Deacon and Michelle Lloyd, the piece got off to a good start. The entrance of Max Bialystock, portrayed down to a tee by Mike Clarke, immediately took the production up to another level. This was an extraordinary portrayal of the role of Max, and one Brooks would have been proud of. Hardly ever off the stage, Mike being a very experienced actor, emulated this role to perfection, his number ‘Betrayal’ in his prison cell was just superb. Another excellent performance from Gareth McMurdo as Leopold Bloom, loved the ‘blanket’ and together with Max made a dynamic duo, both extracting most out of the script and relishing every moment of comedy. Spot on singing from both of these characters in all situations. Andrew Bond was in ‘full flow’ as the larger than life Roger de Bris, who together with newcomer to the Company, Paul Martin as Carmen Ghia, gave flamboyant performances strutting here and there looking gorgeous to say the least. Loved ‘Keep it Gay and Conga’. Versatile John Bowen took full advantage of the role of Franz Liebkind, maintaining his German accent throughout the piece and finally gaining the role of Hitler briefly, but breaking his leg. Nice contribution from Jade Deacon as the glamourous Swedish bombshell, Ulla Inga Hansen Benson Yonsen Tallen-Hallen Svaden-Svanson, who successfully auditions for Eva, ‘Ven You Got It, Flaunt It’ and then ‘woos’ Leo.
There were so many minor roles in this piece and a lot of doubling up, but everyone was spot on with their cues with no pauses throughout. The enthusiastic chorus were well rehearsed as Accountants, Theatre and Street Audience, Auctioneers, Bavarians, Prisoners. I particularly liked the Little Old Ladies (LOLs) scene and the terrific routine with the zimmers, one wonders where they all came from! Dancers were put through their paces with some slick routines, particularly the Nazi Youth Stormtroopers and Broadway Prison Girls.
Stage Manager Lorraine Thomas, kept her Stage Crew on a tight rein, and they must all be congratulated on the swift and effective scene changes – not an easy show to Manage – Well Done. Good costumes from the Wardrobe Team together with an efficient Hair and Make-up team all added to an absolutely awesome Production, culminating in another feather in the cap of this enterprising Company. – Thank you yet again NMTC.