The Producers Rolls in to Oxford
Impoverished by a string of flops, New York producer Max Bialystock recruits downtrodden accountant Leo Bloom to help him pull off Broadway's greatest scam.
Together they aim to produce the worst show in history and run away to Rio with millions, but they learn that show business can always find a way to kick you in the teeth. Featuring a riotous mix of eccentric characters and the all-time classic song ‘Springtime For Hitler’,
The Producers is the funniest Broadway musical of all time.
The cast for this brand new springtime tour of The Producers features one of the UK’s best loved comedians Jason Manford as timid accountant Leo Bloom. Broadway and West End star Cory English reprises his role as Max Bialystock, one he played to critical acclaim in London’s West End. Tiffany Graves joins the company as Ulla the object of Leo Bloom’s affections.
Ross Noble plays the role of Franz Liebkind; the short fused, carrier pigeon keeping, former Nazi, brought on board by Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom to help them in their plot to put on the worst musical of all time.
OX spoke to the man playing Max Bialystock, Cory English…
You’re a very experienced stage actor – over the years you must have had something go a bit pear-shaped on stage?
Oh yes! Certainly on this show as well! As Max Bialystock, I’m at the helm of the show; I have a relationship with the audience so I can certainly be the one who gets us through any kind of pear-shaped accident. So if it’s moving a set piece or going offstage and getting a prop or changing the dance step to make it fit the situation…I’ve gotten quite used to that. I actually look forward to those situations!
You’ve played the role of Max Bialystock before; have you approached it differently this time?
Yes. The last time I understudied Richard Dreyfuss, and then Nathan Lane came in. They’re a bit older and I’m a bit more physical than they are (I started out as a dancer). Being in their shadow I couldn’t really put my own touches on it.
This time around I’ve been able to be a bit more physical with the part. Lee Proud put in a few more dances for me because I can do that. And there’s a bit more physical comedy for this Max Bialystock!
You’ve got some great comedians with you on The Producers tour…do you corpse a lot?
We do have our fun! But it’s primarily within the script. Because it is Mel Brooks and that does lend itself to the fourth wall coming down. He’s even written it into the script. When I turn to the audience and say “This man should be in a straightjacket” – that’s in the script.
Jason and Ross’ roles don’t really allow them to turn to the audience as much as mine does. Their hands are a little bit tied! If anyone does any adlibbing or corpsing it’s usually me!
Touring must be hard work. Are you ever tempted to leave it all behind, become a con man, and escape to Rio with your millions?
No…it’s my life! I think I’m in it for the long run! I can’t really see myself doing anything else…except maybe retiring to Kent!
The Producers comes to the New Theatre Oxford from June 29-July 4 (7:30pm with 2:30pm matinees on Wednesday and Saturday).
Tickets can be purchased from the New Theatre box office on George Street, by ringing 0844 871 3020 or by visiting the website at (phone and internet bookings subject to booking/transaction fee).
For bookings of 10 or more, or for Equal Access bookings, please call dedicated in-house team on 0844 871 3040.
Top Image - Cory English as Max Bialystock and company (Credit: Manuel Harlan)
Bottom Image - Jason Manford as Leo Bloom and Cory English as Max Bialystock (Credit: Manuel Harlan)
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