at Haverhill Arts Centre, Tuesday, June 4
‘If you’ve got it, flaunt it!’ – this vivacious version of The Producers by Centre Stage Company certainly ‘has it’ and the immensely talented cast and crew never held back on the flaunting, drawing their audience into a hilarious world of farce and irreverence.
Mel Brooks’ show chronicles Max Bialystock, a Broadway producer whose latest show flops.
After meeting Leo Bloom, who reveals that money can be made from failure, the pair creates the worst musical ever: Springtime for Hitler.
However, the show becomes an unexpected hit, with hilarious consequences! Andy Letcher is superb as Max, an experienced stage presence with perfect comic pace, who handled his complex songs with emotion and panache.
Tom Ogden’s insecure Leo is a comic delight, complimented by effortless melodic singing.
Kelly Mepham’s Ulla was an endearing mixture of raunchy yet naïve, showcasing her vocal skills, while Ian Davison’s Franz Liebkind was disturbingly charismatic.
Adam Mepham and Max Murphy brought down the house with their interpretations of Roger De Bris and assistant Carmen Ghia ‘keeping it gay’.
The ensemble featured many principals from previous productions and some new faces, who ably navigated an array of eccentric characters and choreography.
Karen Chinery (musical director) had clearly worked tirelessly with the cast, and the accompaniment provided by
some of the best musicians in the area was punchy yet sympathetic.
The satire of homosexuality and National Socialism has risks, and Chris Lines (director) sophisticatedly balanced irony and comedy, without slapstick.
Centre Stage epitomises successful amateur theatre – rich talent, teamwork, fun and friendship, which radiated from their performance.
‘Smile, and the world smiles with you’ – we certainly did, and the rapturous first night applause was well deserved.
Catch this great show at Haverhill Arts Centre until Saturday (7). It starts at 7.30pm each day, with a 2.30pm Saturday matinee.
Tickets available at 01440 714140.