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The Producers, Sunderland Empire

Young reviewer Chris Conway gives his take on The Producers, which is at Sunderland Empire until June 23.

Young reviewer Chris Conway gives his take on The Producers, which is at Sunderland Empire until June 23.

Bursting on to the stage, with tremendous flair, the cast of the Mel Brooks' musical extravaganza The Producers, certainly made an ordinary Wednesday night a fantastic one - and a rather camp one.

Casting Joe Pasquale to play the key supporting role as rigid accountant Leo Bloom was an inspired choice.

Pasquale appeared to the audience to be completely at home in the role that many would be surprised to see him in, given that he is best known for being loud and squeaky.

The audience gasped in delight when he took to the stage to sing, and they were pleasantly surprised at how good a singer he is; carrying off the song I Wanna be a Producer without it appearing anything other than completely natural.

The rest of the cast were made up of some incredible actors who all took their parts seriously but played them very lightly, making it great fun.

Russ Abbot played the character of director Roger DeBris in a very camp way, often donning sequinned dresses to add to the illusion, making the flamboyant character feel like something out of the Christmas pantomime rather than a Broadway musical. A high point was when Abbot performed as Hitler, singing Springtime for Hitler, prancing about the stage.

The main character Max Bialystock was played by Cory English, who really set the stage ablaze, dazzling the audience with his cool charm and spectacular wit. The Producers is a brilliant show, offering comedy and a musical all at once, with a great cast.

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