Andrew Dipper

Jason Manford talks The Producers, Mel Brooks, working with Louie Spence

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"To be on stage that long singing and acting and dancing is terrifying."

Jason Manford has been speaking to News Shopper ahead of the upcoming UK tour of The Producers, where he will play Leo Bloom in the latest stage adaptation of Mel Brooks’s Academy Award-winning film. Below are some of the interview highlights.

On performing in The Producers:

“To be on stage that long singing and acting and dancing is terrifying really. I’m on stage with loads of different people, which is unusual for me. It’s a well-loved show that loads of brilliant people of done: Matthew Broderick, Gene Wilder, Lee Evans – there’s some big shoes to fill there. I can’t wait. It’s one of my favourite musicals, if not the favourite musical. To be in and to be the lead is just amazing.”

On Mel Brooks’ involvement with the stage show:

“As far as I know, he has to sign off everyone who plays a part and he flies over for some of the rehearsals. It’s pretty nerve-wracking. Somebody will have sent my DVD over to him and he will have had a look and thought ‘yeah, he’ll do’.”

On dance star Louie Spence being cast as flamboyant assistant Carmen Ghia:

“I’ve worked with him a couple of times and he’s great fun. In a way I’m glad he’s only doing eight weeks because I reckon he will be a right force of nature. At the same time, it’s sort of genius casting. His song is ‘Keep it Gay’ and he’s the first person I think of when I hear that song now.”

“That’s going to be the interesting thing, seeing him restricted to what someone else has said. The thing about him is the Louis Spence that we don’t see is a disciplined performer who has worked very hard to get where he is. He’s a fabulous mover. I’ve done a couple of things with him and he is unbelievable.”

The Producers visits Manchester, Sunderland, Liverpool and more on tour in 2015. For tickets, see