REVIEW: The Producers – A Mel Brooks Musical, The Mayflower, Southampton, until May 30.

Ross Noble hits the ground goose-stepping as the latest recruit to the remarkable stage phenomenon The Producers which had the audience on its feet roaring its approval at the end.

The musical about the musical that refuses to fail is the surest of winners, thanks to a brilliant cast and plenty of “Did he really say that?” moments.

New York producer Max Bialystock recruits timid accountant Leo Bloom to help him pull off Broadway’s greatest scam - producing a musical certain to fail. Except clearly nothing is certain in the theatre.

Bialystock matches up an appalling love song to Hitler with an outrageously-camp OTT production to produce seemingly the stuff of nightmares - and has the most unexpected of hits on his hands.

Cory English is terrific as Max forever trying to keep up with the events he has unleashed. Meanwhile Jason Manford is an absolute revelation as Leo, the shy guy who blooms and even manages to find love along the way.

Joining the cast as the unreconstructed Nazi who provides the play is Ross Noble who has plenty of fun as the helmeted, lederhosen-clad would-be writer convinced that somewhere along the line Hitler has been seriously misunderstood.

You spend the first half waiting for the musical within the musical, and it doesn’t disappoint when it finally arrives - the most cringe-inducing mix of high-camp and bad taste, fluffy, sequined glamour meeting Adolf in a marriage hilariously made in hell.

Excellent support comes from David Badella as Roger de Bris, Tiffany Graves as Ulla and Stephane Anelli as Carmen Ghia.

Phil Hewitt