Review: PODS’ production of The Producers

PODS’ latest production of The Producers at The Paget Rooms was a resounding success, filled with laughter, great performances, and unforgettable moments. From the opening scene to the final curtain call, I loved every minute of this uproarious musical.

The Producers, a Mel Brooks classic, tells the story of down-on-his-luck producer Max Bialystock and nervous accountant Leo Bloom, who scheme to produce the worst musical ever on Broadway in a bid to swindle their backers. However, their plan backfires spectacularly when the show becomes a hit.

Neil Parker as Max Bialystock delivered a powerhouse performance, capturing Max’s cunning and charisma with ease. Paul Mellin was equally impressive as Leo Bloom, perfectly embodying the character’s charm. The chemistry between Parker and Mellin was palpable, driving the show forward with energy and wit.

Chloe Welsh shone as Ulla, the seductive Swedish secretary with dreams of stardom. Her performance of “When You’ve Got It, Flaunt It” was a highlight, showcasing her stunning vocal range and comedic timing. Andrew Carr was unforgettable as the eccentric Nazi playwright Franz Liebkind, bringing boundless enthusiasm and hilarity to the role.

Rhys Jenkins as Carmen Ghia and Jon Barnes as Roger De Bris were comedic gold, particularly in the number “Keep it Gay”. This scene, set in Roger’s flamboyant apartment, left the audience rolling with laughter, almost in the aisles. Jenkins and Barnes played off each other brilliantly, their over-the-top portrayals of their characters adding to the hilarity.

The ensemble numbers were equally impressive. “Along Came Bialy”, featuring dancing old ladies with walkers, was a visual and comedic delight. The highlight of the show, “Springtime for Hitler”, staged at the fictional Shubert Theatre, was a masterpiece of satirical humour. The absurdity of the situation, combined with the cast’s impeccable delivery, made it an unforgettable experience.

Overall, PODS’ production of The Producers was a triumph, blending exceptional performances with side-splitting humour. It was a night of theatre that left the audience cheering, complete with a standing ovation for the company, and laughing long after the final bow. Bravo to the entire cast and crew for bringing this outrageous and brilliant musical to life in Penarth.

The Producers by Penarth Operatic & Dramatic Society is on at Penarth’s Paget Rooms 15 – 18 May 2024. Limited tickets from £15 available online here.

All photography by Neil Davies.