27 April to 2 May 2015
Reviewed by Lora Hole
We were lucky enough to be at the opening night of Mel Brooks’ star-studded show The Producers at the Bristol Hippodrome. With a cast including household names Jason Manford, Phill Jupitus and Louie Spence, we knew we were in for an entertaining evening!
We parked in the Trenchard Street Car Park situated behind the Colston Hall which was only a short walk from the theatre. We found it to be much cheaper than other nearby car parks at only £2.50 for the evening. Bristol Hippodrome is a beautiful theatre built in the Victorian era giving it a grand style that makes a night out at the theatre extra special. The Hippodrome is well maintained and always appears clean including the toilets even after a busy show. As I’ve found each time I’ve been to the Bristol Hippodrome, the staff were very friendly, hospitable and always found with a smile on their faces.
The Producers begins with the story being set by failing producer, Max Bialystock played by Cory English, on opening night of his latest musical. With this being another disastrous flop and Bialystock desperate to make a hit musical, he meets accountant, Leo Bloom played by Jason Manford. Leo shows Max how he could make more money by creating awful musicals than creating a hit on Broadway. Their journey to realising their dream of making millions is very funny including Bialystock’s unique way of raising funds to make the musical, their encounter with the Nazi loving Franz Liebkind, played by Phill Jupitus, to get the rights to the play followed by Ulla, played by Tiffany Graves, arriving as a beautiful Swedish actress who comes to audition but ends up becoming Bialystock and Bloom’s receptionist. A love story soon ensues between the shy Leo Bloom and receptionist Ulla. The director, Roger De Bris, played by David Bedella, and his partner, Carmen Ghia, played by Louie Spence, arrive to add a touch of sparkle to the musical. Things take a dramatic turn on opening night but the cast manage to carry it off and get rave reviews much to the dismay of Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom. Things go from bad to worse for Max but eventually he and Leo are reunited in a humorously touching way.
Jason Manford was very convincing at playing the nervous Leo Bloom whilst also using his comic background to add a touch of humour to the role. We were particularly impressed by his singing and dancing skills as it is a side of him we had never seen before. Cory English was superb as Max Bialystock, the sleazy Broadway producer who has a way with old ladies, and kept us laughing throughout the evening. Phill Jupitus was hilarious as the Hitler-loving Nazi Franz Liebkind and seemed to be the perfect fit for the part. Tiffany Graves kept us laughing with her funny Swedish accent and her innocent charm with the men in her part as Ulla. David Bedella and Louie Spence, as Roger De Bris and Carmen Ghia, were a hysterical double act with Louie Spence being his usual flamboyant self.
We really enjoyed our evening out to see The Producers at the Bristol Hippodrome and would highly recommend it to others as a fun night out guaranteed to entertain you all night long.
Tickets cost from £17.90 to £48.90 (plus £4 transaction fee).
The Producers is at the Bristol Hippodrome until 2 May 2015. For more information or to book tickets to click here or call the box office on 0844 871 3012.
Bristol Hippodrome, St Augustine’s Parade, Bristol, BS1 4UZ | 0844 871 3012