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St. Augustine's Musical Theatre Company

The UK Midlands' Award Winning Premier Local Theatre Company - Entertaining for 46 Years - 1974 to 2020

The Producers
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The Producers ran from 19 to 24 November 2019 at The Core Theatre, Solihull.
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2019 PRODUCTION -
THE PRODUCERS

Tuesday 19 to Sunday 24 November 2019

'Springtime for Hitler' !


Our production in November 2019 was the madcap Mel Brook musical The Producers.

Based on the original 1967 film, with lyrics by Mel Brooks and music by Mel Brooks, arranged by Glen Kelly and Doug Besterman, the smash hit stage version of THE PRODUCERS won a whole collection of awards including a record-breaking 12 Tonys.

Here are some audience comments:

What a stellar opening night by St. Augustine’s Musical theatre Company - they did Mel Brooks proud!” (The Core Theatre).

Well done St. Augustine’s Musical theatre Company, a really fantastic production that we enjoyed tremendously last night. Great staging, some really neat production touches, super singing and definitely some of the best individual performances we have seen on the Core's stage for a long time!

“Wow and wow! What a brilliant show tonight, well done.”

“Massive congratulations to STAGS on your performance of The Producers! It was brilliant, very funny and so enjoyable!”

“Just got in from watching The Producers at The Core Theatre Solihull . Absolutely amazing show.”

“Was an absolutely fab night - never laughed so much - me and my hubby thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend it to everyone.”

“OMG everybody!! Amazing show tonight. I laughed my head off!”
“Brilliant show, fabulous band."

Wonderful show. You were brilliant. Well done to all the cast.”

“Brilliant show, thoroughly enjoyed it.”

“The Producers at The Core Theatre is fantastic…. you are brilliant I am loving it.”


THE PRODUCERS was a first for St. Augustine's MTC - we hope you enjoyed the antics and fun!

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THE PRODUCERS
- CAST INTERVIEWS BY THE CORE THEATRE

Kirstie Ewer from The Core Theatre came along to see us and filmed interviews and with the cast of The Producers and parts of a rehearsal. Watch the video below!
CASTING ANNOUNCEMENTS
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JOHN MORRISON - MAX BIALYSTOCK


We were delighted to announce that JOHN MORRISON was cast in the role of MAX BIALYSTOCK for our 2019 production of
The Producers. This was John’s first role with St. Augustine’s MTC and his first time performing in Solihull, but he has been involved in musical theatre in Birmingham for the past 20 years.

John has performed in shows with Bournville MTC, The Arcadians and Argosy MTC,
playing a range of principal parts including Fred Graham/Petruchio (Kiss Me, Kate), Moonface Martin (Anything Goes), Vernon Hines (The Pajama Game), Cosmo Brown (Singin’ in the Rain), Nicely-Nicely Johnson (Guys and Dolls), and has previously played the role of Max Bialystock in The Producers. Last year, John also directed his first show, Legally Blonde, for Bournville MTC.

John is married with two sons and his whole family is involved in musical theatre, including his wife who he met 18 years ago playing opposite her in
Call Me Madam.
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RICHARD PERKS - LEOPOLD BLOOM


We were really pleased to announce that RICHARD PERKS was cast in the role of LEOPOLD BLOOM in our 2019 production of
The Producers.

Although Richard has played the role of Leo previously, this was his first time performing with St. Augustine’s MTC. Leo Bloom, one of the two ‘Producers’ in the show’s title, is a timid, shy and mild-mannered accountant, prone to panic attacks, but is also a dreamer who wants to get out of a run-of-the-mill life, and longs to be a Broadway Producer.
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NICHOLA WILLETTS - ULLA INGA HANSEN BENSON YONSEN TALLEN-HALLEN SVADEN-SVANSON


Following auditions, NICHOLA WILLETTS was cast in the role of ULLA INGA HANSEN BENSON YONSEN TALLEN-HALLEN SVADEN-SVANSON for our 2019 production of
The Producers.

We were delighted to welcome Nikki to her first role with St. Augustine’s MTC as sexy, sultry, Swedish Ulla, but she is no stranger to the theatre scene in Solihull, having played numerous roles with other companies, including Beryl in
Made in Dagenham and Charity in Sweet Charity.
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MICHAEL BENTLEY - ROGER DE BRIS


We were delighted to announce that MICHAEL BENTLEY was cast in the role of ROGER DE BRIS for our 2019 production of
The Producers. Michael was back with St. Augustine’s MTC as the flamboyant theatre director Roger De Bris, following his fantastic portrayal of Edna Turnblad in Hairspray in November 2018.

Michael is a very experienced performer and has appeared in numerous productions with many companies. With St. Augustine’s MTC he has appeared as George in T
he Wedding Singer, Joe Cable in South Pacific and The Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin, Prince of Sherwood, and of course his performance as the iconic Edna Turnblad in Hairspray in 2018, as well as being a past Chairman.
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LOCHLANN HANNON - CARMEN GHIA


We were delighted to announce that LOCHLANN HANNON was cast in the role of CARMEN GHIA for our 2019 production of The Producers.

Lochlann has appeared in shows with other companies, but was a newcomer to St. Augustine's MTC.

We warmly welcomed Lochlann to the company and knew he would relish the role of Carmen, Roger De Bris’ unswervingly loyal ‘commow-law’ assistant!
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NICK SALTER - FRANZ LIEBKIND


We were really pleased to announce that NICK SALTER was cast in the role of FRANZ LIEBKIND in our 2019 production of
The Producers.

Nick has previously appeared with St. Augustine’s MTC as The Innkeeper in
Fiddler on the Roof in 2017, and Harriman F. Spritzer in 2018's sell-out production of Hairspray.

Taking on the part of the crazy, comically unstable German playwright Franz Liebkind was Nick’s biggest role to date. He relished training his beloved pigeons and dusting off his lederhosen!

Well done Nick!
The Producers - Synopsis
Act I

In New York in 1959, theatre producer Max Bialystock opens 'Funny Boy, a musical version of Hamlet (Opening Night). It is terrible, and the show closes after one performance. Max, who was once called the King of Broadway, tells a crowd of down-and-outs of his past achievements and vows to return to form (King of Broadway).

The next day, Leo Bloom, a mousy accountant, comes to Max's office to audit his books. When one of Max's little old lady 'investors' arrives, Max tells Leo to wait in the bathroom until she leaves. She plays a sex game with Max, who eventually persuades her to give him a cheque to be invested in his next play, to be called 'Cash'. Leo reveals his lifelong dream: he's always wanted to be a Broadway producer. After a panic attack when Max touches his blue blanket, Leo tells Max that he has found an accounting error in his books: Max raised $100,000 for 'Funny Boy', but the play only cost $98,000. Max begs Leo to cook the books to hide the discrepancy. Leo reluctantly agrees. After some calculations, he realizes that "under the right circumstances, a producer could actually make more money with a flop than he can with a hit. ... You could've raised a million dollars, put on your $100,000 flop, and kept the rest!" Max proposes a scheme:

Step 1: We find the worst play ever written.
Step 2: We hire the worst director in town.
Step 3: We raise two million dollars. ... One for me, one for you. There's a lot of little old ladies out there!
Step 4: We hire the worst actors in New York and open on Broadway and before you can say
Step 5: We close on Broadway, take our two million, and go to Rio.

However, Leo refuses to help Max with his scheme (We Can Do It). When he arrives at work six minutes late, Leo's horrid boss, Mr. Marks, reminds him that he is a nobody. While he and his miserable co-workers slave over accounts, Leo daydreams of becoming a Broadway producer (I Wanna Be a Producer). He realises that his job is terrible, quits, and returns to Max (We Can Do It (reprise)). The next day, they look for the worst play ever written. Max finds a sure-fire flop that would offend people of all races, creeds and religions - 'Springtime for Hitler: A Gay Romp with Adolf and Eva at Berchtesgaden, written by Franz Liebkind, which Max describes as "a love letter to Hitler". They go to the playwright's home in Greenwich Village to get the rights to the play. Ex-Nazi Franz is on the roof of his tenement with his pigeons reminiscing about the grand old days (In Old Bavaria). The producers get him to sign their contract by joining him in singing Adolf Hitler's favourite tune (Der Guten Tag Hop Clop) and reciting the Siegfried Oath, under penalty of death, promising never to dishonour "the spirit and the memory of Adolf Elizabeth Hitler".

Next, they go to the townhouse of flamboyant homosexual Roger de Bris, the worst director in New York. At first, Roger and his "common law-assistant" Carmen Ghia decline the offer to direct because of the serious subject matter (Keep It Gay). After much persuading and invoking the possibility of a Tony award, Roger agrees and tells them the second act must be rewritten so the Germans win World War II. Max and Leo return to the office to meet a Swedish bombshell who wants to audition for their next play - Ulla Inga Hansen Benson Yansen Tallen Svaden Swanson. She auditions for them (When You've Got It, Flaunt It). The producers are impressed, mostly by her beauty, and hire her to be their "secretary-slash-receptionist". Max leaves to raise two million dollars for 'Springtime for Hitler' by calling on all the little old ladies in New York (Along Came Bialy), which he does (Act I Finale).

Act II

Leo and Ulla are left alone in Max's office (redecorated by Ulla), and they start to fall in love (That Face). Max walks in and sees the perfect form of Ulla's covered behind (That Face (reprise)).

At the auditions for the title role, Hitler, one terrible actor after another is rejected by Roger in summary fashion. Finally, Franz performs his own jazzy rendition of Haben Sie Gehört Das Deutsche Band?, at the end of which Max stands up and shouts, "That's our Hitler!" Opening night arrives (It's Bad Luck to Say 'Good Luck' on Opening Night), and Franz falls down the stairs and breaks his leg. Roger is the only one who knows the part of Hitler, and he rushes to the dressing room to get ready. The curtain rises, and Max and Leo watch the theatrical disaster unfold (Springtime for Hitler). Unfortunately, Roger's performance is so camp and outrageous, the audience mistakes it for satire, and the show becomes the talk of the town. Back at the office, Max and Leo are near-suicidal (Where Did We Go Right?). Roger and Carmen come to congratulate them, only to find them fighting over the accounting books. Franz bursts in, waving a pistol, outraged by Roger's portrayal of his beloved Führer. Max suggests that he shoot the actors (not the producers) as a way to close the show. The police hear the commotion and arrest Franz, who breaks his other leg while trying to escape. They also arrest Max and take the books. Leo hides; Ulla finds him and persuades him to take the two million dollars and run off to Rio with her.

In jail awaiting trial, Max receives a postcard from Leo and, feeling betrayed, recounts the whole show (Betrayed). At his trial, Max is found "incredibly guilty"; but the now-married Leo and Ulla arrive to tell the judge that Max is a good man who has never hurt anyone despite his swindling (Till Him). The judge is touched by this and decides not to separate the partners, sending both (plus Franz) to Sing-Sing prison for five years. In prison, they write a new musical entitled 'Prisoners of Love', which goes to Broadway (Prisoners of Love) (starring Roger and Ulla), and they are pardoned by the Governor. Leo and Max become the kings of Broadway and walk off into the sunset (Leo & Max). Everyone comes back for one last song, telling the audience that they have to leave (Goodbye).
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The Producers - Flyer Front
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The Producers - Flyer Back (Ticket Booking Form)
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