Photos and Story By Caitriona Kenny
“There’s more money to be made in a hit show being a flop than a success,” discovers Leo Bloom, Max Bialystock’s accountant. And from there, a show, inside a show was born, titled, ‘Springtime for Hitler’. Before the audience had a chance to settle into their seats, the Tipperary Musical Society’s show, The Producers, threw them onto a rollercoaster ride of laugh-out-loud humour and amazing performances from its cast that was thoroughly, thoroughly entertaining. Wit, wacky humour, fabulous costumes, great dancing and slick scene changes glued the audience to the stage. This musical, gave the cast wonderful opportunities to ‘give it their all’ and be as ‘over-the-top’ as they would wish to be. Many members of the cast played multiple roles including Liam Carey who looked as fetching in a chorus girl dress, as he did a prison guard in the jail scene later on. Deirdre Ryan was a scream as the character, Hold me Touch me, an old lady with an appetite for younger men and was fierce as the gay Shirley, in the ‘gay scene’, one of the funniest scenes in the show.
Young John Ryan was enjoying his successful debut as the character Carmen Ghia and was very popular with the audience. It is a great complaint when you can’t hear all the lines due to the roaring laughing of the audience and in just one of these occasions, John Murphy, as Franz Liebkind, brought the house down during his songs, ‘In Old Bavaria’ and ‘Der Gutten tag hop-clop.’ Here, the master of comedy, Willie Bun Ryan playing producer Max Bialystock, alongside the brave John Murray as Leo Bloom, danced around the stage with trousers rolled up, creating hilarious entertainment.
Ah, Mr. Willie Bun Ryan. Were you born to play the part of Max Bialystock? Or was the part of Max Bialystock created just for you? What a joy to see you in this role where every ounce of your many talents were on display; singing, a little dancing, great comic-timing and award-winning acting. Congratulations Willie. As expected, you held the audience at every turn and pleasantly frightened them a little when you left the stage and moved into the audience singing and making them laugh. Many times you surprised the audience with your, ‘not knowing what you were going to next’ comic-timing and humour that was thoroughly entertaining.
Lynda Breen as Ulla Inga Hansen, was outstanding as was John Murray as Leo Bloom. Both actors showed incredible courage in their roles for although these type of ‘over the top’ roles demand extravagant performances, it takes great courage to put yourself out there like that. Talking of courage… we move to a man who carried off wearing a dress better than most women I know; Mr. Cathal O’Donoghue in the role of Roger De Bris. I believe his excellent wearing of a dress pertains more to Cathal’s excellent acting abilities… his attention to detail is amazing. His hair as Roger De Bris, was already primed to become the character of Hitler. It was simple costume change, different posture, different voice and there he was… only a simple feat for someone like Cathal.
Behind every great man, is a great woman. Behind every great show, is a great backstage crew and the TMS crew did an amazing, slick job and great praise and applause is well deserved.
Denis Wade, Stage Manager, spoke to the Nationalist and was passionate about ensuring the recognition of the hardworking crew. “In the last week of rehearsals the crew was here more times than the cast to ensure they got everything right.” And it showed. The scene changes were fast and efficient and kept the momentum going for the performers. With great pride Denis showed me backstage and the not-so-subtle innuendo’s built into the set design, in-line with the outrageousness of the show. Congratulations to all the backstage crew whose talent and commitment greatly contributed to the successful on-stage performances.
Highlights of the show – all the cast’s performances, the old ladies dancing with their Zimmer frames, the gay scene with the YMCA people, the accountant scene where the dancing girls came out of the filing cabinets (which was just class), the dancing girls and many, many more scenes and I just loved the dancing pigeons. The additional wacky bits were great including the nun smoking during one of the opening songs, the beer and sausage headdresses and Willie Bun holding his backside whilst talking about how he got the money for the show off the old ladies… “I still have the denture bites to prove it.”
The audience loved it. Margaret Sheehan from Bohercrowe is a big fan of the Tipperary Musical Society attending every year. “I think this year’s show is brilliant and it’s a laugh and we need it.” Margaret was with her friend Betty Jackson from Tipperary Town. “It’s just brilliant. It’s so entertaining and funny and we need a laugh. The whole country needs a laugh at the moment with everything going on.”
There was a great buzz during the interval and all the audience could be overheard talking about how much they were enjoying the show.
Laura Sweeney, who works at Aherlow House Hotel, loved the show. “Absolutely fabulous – My favourite part so far is watching John Murray playing the part of Leo Bloom, dancing around with Willie. John is my music teacher from Cashel and it’s an absolute treat to see him performing.”
The Producers also attracted Terry McGrath from Ardmore Co. Waterford. ”I travelled up here to see the show and so far I think it’s a ten out of ten. I’m loving the dancing and I think the gay scene was very funny.”
Congratulations to the cast and crew on a fabulous entertaining show.