PODS are well known for producing high quality theatre in Peterborough and their latest musical does not disappoint.
The Producers (at the Key Theatre until Saturday) could be a tricky title; it’s a musical that demands a great deal. Showgirls, sparkle, a huge array of accents, lots of winks to the audience, and perfect comedy timing all have to come
together to make this show a success, and PODS have really hit the nail on the head.
Heading up the cast Alex Broadfield and Harvey Jones, as Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom, do a stunning job. Both actors work their socks off and give marvellous performances, transporting the audience to Broadway. As a double act, the pair work brilliantly, from their first duet ‘We Can Do It’ to some hilarious moments of pure slapstick, the duo are a joy to watch.
On the subject of double acts, Rob Bristow, as Roger De Bris, and Edward Smith, as Carmen Ghia, merit special mention. An outrageously funny pair, Rob and Edward have the audience in stitches from start to finish.
But no version of The Producers would be complete without a sparkling ensemble, and this is where PODS always shine. From dancing grannies complete with purple velvet dresses and zimmer frames, to showgirls dressed as beer steins and German sausages, nothing is too much of a challenge!
Choreographer Lisa Collings clearly ran a tight ship in rehearsals and the results are wonderful with a fantastic display of complex dance routines throughout.
Plaudits should also go to Steve Hession, Musical Director, who has worked the cast hard, they really are a delight to listen to and achieve an incredible sound.
Paul Collings, Director, has done a brilliant job. Every cast member is giving 100%, the slapstick is slick and unexpected, and the production is full of energy.
There were a few tiny glitches with scene changes on the night that I attended, but I suspect this was mostly down to hugely limited wing space judging by the sheer size of some of the set pieces (really, where are they storing it all?). I wonder if this version may have benefitted from a slightly smaller or reduced set in places, but this is nitpicking and it didn’t ruin my enjoyment of the performance at all. In fact, all the backstage crew should be congratulated for an awful lot of hard work!
PODS should be commended for another smashing show - The Producers is a hit!