A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murderwon four Tony Awards, including best musical, in 2014, and it’s enterprising of The Production Company…to end this year’s season with the premiere of a hot new Broadway show.

Roger Hodgman’s nimble direction, together with some terrific casting, ensures a tight, slick production that proves a perfect vehicle for its stars.

Chris Ryan is brilliant as the murderous Monty Navarro, holding everything together with a dapper, matinee-idol charm and just the right flash of malice underneath.

But it’s Mitchell Butel who really gets to show off. Playing the eight relatives who stand between Monty and the earldom, Butel’s comic and musical talents are in overdrive through slapstick and physical humour, pantomime caricature, several lightning costume changes and, of course, numerous stage deaths.

The romantic subplot – a love triangle involving Monty’s mistress Sibella (Alinta Chidzey), and future Phoebe (Genevieve Kingsford) – confects passionate melodrama through slightly camp glaze. And the doubtable Nancye Hayes appears in a sly cameo.

Cameron Woodhead, The Age 29/10/18


The Peter Allen bio-musical, The Boy from Oz, is a toe-tapping, glitzy musical extravaganza, and the opening night audience expressed its approval with the whoops, hollers, and an emphatic standing ovation.

Rohan Browne portrays the ambitious, versatile Allen with youthful exuberance, non-stop energy and in-your-face camp humour and cheekiness.

When teenage Allen meets troubled megastar Judy Garland (Caroline O’Connor), the rest is history. Though O’Connor’s stage time is brief and she sings only four songs, her powerful voice and magnetic performance is a highlight…

Other treats include Loren Hunter’s peppy and sincere portrayal of Liza Minnelli…and Maxwell Simon’s compelling and quietly confident performance as Allen’s AIDS-afflicted lover, Greg Connell.

Jason Langley’s direction is assured, and Michael Ralph’s dynamic choreography is a feature…

Joe Calleri , Herald Sun 14/8/18


It has been 20 years since Jeanne Pratt founded The Production Company, and what a boon to musical theatre lovers it has proved.

You couldn’t ask for a better vindication of the company’s ethos than this marvellous production of Oklahoma! It stars the cream of our musical theatre talent…and they bring this Rodgers and Hammerstein classic to life with infectious energy.

Robin Nevin raises the bar as Aunt Eller…

From the moment he launches into Oh, What A Beautiful Morning, Simon Gleeson’s Curly sweeps us into the sunshine. His vocal strength and allure are matched by Anna O’Byrne’s Laurey, and their feisty courtship swells into romance through glorious duet.

Ben Mingay is disturbing as Jud, the jilted third wheel; his brooding baritone seems to echo with menace and the lure of the grave.

Chris Parker directs an all-star cast with dynamism, skill and attention to character, creating a fitting tribute to mark the 20thanniversary of a company vital to Melbourne’s musical theatre scene.

Cameron Woodhead , The Age 28/05/18
REJOICE, Melbourne! The Production Company’s staging of Hello, Dolly! is so gosh-darn upbeat and bursting at the seams with high megawattage energy, it will fill your eyes, ears and heart with unbridled joy.

Australia’s leading lady of musical theatre, soprano Marina Prior, is the commanding, scene-stealing star as titular Dolly.

And when the Melbourne opening night audience spontaneously leaps to its feet for a standing ovation, it means they love this show, and Dolly Levi and Marina Prior, it’s SO nice to have you back where you belong.

Joe Calleri , Herald Sun 30/05/17

What’s the Buzz? The Production Company’s second show of 2017 is nothing short of a miraculous spectacle bringing a completely modern take on Andrew Lloyd Webber’s classic rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar.

Rob Mills makes a holy debut with the company in the title role of Jesus. The role of Jesus almost takes a secondary role in the first half of the musical to the betraying Judas Iscariot, but come his number at the beginning of Act 2 – Gethsemane (I Only Want To Say) – Rob Mills proves why he is worthy of this leading man title he has earnt himself through many of Melbourne’s huge productions.

Although they have been delivering on their mission of providing incredible shows in the Melbourne theatre landscape for many years, The Production Company is solidifying itself as an incredible powerhouse within the Australian theatre landscape. There is something special about their model bringing together some of the best performers from around the country and creating spectacular pieces of theatre which need to be seen to be believed.

Matt Bell , Standing (Inn)ovation 29/07/17


Lerner and Loewe’s Brigadoon is a deliciously old-fashioned, musical rom-com set in a magical, 17th century Scottish village that materialises out of the mist for only one day every 100 years.

But Jason Langley’s production transposes the period from 1947 to 2017 when rich boy, Tommy (Rohan Browne), and his jaded friend, Jeff (Luke Joslin), who are New Yorkers on a tourist trek through Scotland, stumble upon this fairy tale place.

During their single day in this mythical place, Tommy falls in love with copper-haired beauty, Fiona (Genevieve Kingsford), while Jeff fights off the advances of brazen Meg (Elise McCann).

Accompanied by the on stage orchestra under Michael Tyack’s musical direction, the cast provides a feast of musical numbers including Almost Like Being In Love, the memorable love duet sung by Browne and Kingsford.

Browne is magnetic and roguish as Tommy, adding another dimension to the character with his skilful and sprightly dance moves, while Kingsford’s rich, powerful soprano is perfect for the spirited Fiona, and her duet with Browne, The Heather on the Hill, is warm and charming.

Matthew Manahan is boisterously upbeat as bridegroom, Charlie, and he vivaciously leads the ensemble in I’ll Go Home With Bonnie Jean.

Joslin garners laughs as the glib and cynical Jeff while McCann is suitably brassy and seductive as Meg and Nancye Hayes plays the restructured role of Mrs. Forsythe with dignity.

The simple stage design (Christina Smith) provides space for vibrant choreography (Cameron Mitchell) while the hanging wooden crosses that protect the village from the evils of the outside world lend a darker edge to the village story.

Brigadoon is performed infrequently, but the audience’s response to its rollicking tunes, magical landscape and romantic narrative suggests that it should materialise out of the Scottish mists more often.

Kate Herbert , Herald Sun 31/10/17

“An absolutely sensational lead performance from Amy Lehpamer is a key attraction in The Production Company’s revival of 2006 Australian musical Dusty.

Lehpamer immerses herself in the character, deftly differentiating the alluring public figure with the troubled private woman plagued by gnawing insecurities and a tendency to erupt into tantrums. Lehpamer sings the role superbly, delivering powerhouse vocals from the big hits, and also expressing the effects of aging, drinking and ongoing self-doubt in her voice.

Isaac Lummis excels himself, delivering a glittering wardrobe of witty, eye-catching outfits that propel the characters through the decades and across the social and cultural divides.

Both ensemble and lead performers benefit from Trent Whitmore’s extraordinary collection of beautifully coiffured wigs.”

Simon Parris, Man in Chair 13/11/16

“The Australian premiere of the Broadway musical who-dunnit Curtains adds another feather to The Production Company’s cap with this polished, brisk and sophisticated laugh-a-plenty production.

Director Roger Hodgman has worked a treat in bringing the complexities and nuances of the plot’s assortment of layers together from a large cast of Australian musical theatre talent who rise to the comic occasion with bravado and bang.

From curtain up, the newly established Production Company Orchestra arrived brimming with rewarding musical panache.”

Paul Selar, Aussie Theatre 24/8/16


“On the strength of her performance as Fanny Brice on Saturday night, Caroline O’Connor deserves to be rated…as one of the greatest singers of the English language.

Star vehicle it may be, but this Funny Girl is not a one-woman show. David Hobson is a terrific Nicky Arnstein, Fanny’s oily and somewhat dodgy love interest. And Nancye Hayes plays Fanny’s mother in a nice piece of casting. The chorus is tight, well-drilled and a delight to watch.”

Chris Boyd, The Australian 25/7/16

“This Production Company version is the first professional revival in more than two decades and as a showcase of talented women in Australian musical theatre, it can’t be beaten.

Director Dean Bryant has tweaked and elaborated the script into an irreverent, light comic romp that feels fresh and improvised, and has been neatly tailored to the offstage personas of each performer.

There are too many highlights to name them all. The only shortcoming in this ridiculously entertaining show is its short, two-week season. Get your tickets quickly.”

Cameron Woodhead , The Age Review

“Roger Hodgman directs a star-studded cast with pace and comic zing. The acting and singing are terrific, Christina Smith’s design sparing but elegant, Dana Jolly’s dynamic period choreography dazzles the eye, and John Foreman conducts the large orchestra, on a sloping bandstand, with verve.

Like The Drowsy Chaperone before it, Nice Work If You Can Get It channels the golden age of American music theatre with affectionate glee. The result is ridiculously entertaining. Don’t miss out.”

Cameron Woodhead, The Age

“On a simple set (by Shaun Gurton) that evokes an army barracks as much as the stripped urban wasteland of ’50s New York, a vigorous and youthful cast bring a touching immediacy to the tragic retelling of Romeo and Juliet.

Anna O’Byrne and Gareth Keegan are very fine as star-crossed lovers Maria and Tony, neatly side-stepping the tendency to mawkishness inherent in the roles. O’Byrne has a glorious voice, and Keegan matches her admirably in the famous duets Tonight and One Hand, One Heart.”

Tim Byrne, The Age Review

“Despite its popularity, Melbourne hasn’t seen a professional production of La Cage aux Folles since it first appeared in the city in 1985. The Production Company’s revival would have been welcome in any event: happily, a starry cast, slick production values and strong performances make for an exceptional entertainment.

Dean Bryant’s assured comic direction and Matthew Frank’s conducting of the live orchestra combine to fuel another musical theatre success for The Production Company, and an enjoyable end to its 2014 season.”

Cameron Woodhead, The Age

“This production, deftly directed by Roger Hodgman, [is] a taut, captivating production with accomplished and versatile leads, a balance of operatic and musical theatre voices, sassy choreography (Dana Jolly), a nimble orchestra and tight musical direction (Kellie Dickerson).”

Kate Herbert, Herald-Sun

“Director Gale Edwards musters an exceptional cast of singer-actor-dancers. The dialogue is fast, funny and Runyonesque, echoing the tough, street-talk of New York’s underworld, and the production is peppered with Nathan M. Wright’s zingy choreography.”

Kate Herbert, Herald-Sun
The Production Company can certainly attract our best musical theatre performers. Gareth Keegan plays the romantic lead with aplomb. His mock­heroics are hilarious and he has a flexible voice that can handle the extreme speed of patter songs, or soar into romantic numbers as if he were a one­man boy band.
Cameron Woodhead , The Age Review
The Production Company’s staging features sensational music, colourful costumes and an appealing cast of triple threats.

Director Gary Young keeps the action fast and frothy. John Foreman conducts Orchestra Victoria in a thrilling performance of the score. The brass section is in superb form, and the harp adds an utterly sumptuous touch.

Matthew King’s lighting is a particular feature of the show, with lighting bars and changes of state prominent aspects of the storytelling.

Rohan Browne is a charming, handsome Don, winning the audience over with his smooth vocals and terrific dancing. Browne’s performance of “Singin’ in the Rain” is an absolute highlight, with his energetic, stylish, highly skillful dancing.

Christie Whelan-Browne is a hoot as Lina, really hitting her strides with Lina’s act two lament “What’s Wrong With Me?”

Alinta Chidzey is adorable as the sweet natured Kathy, her singing voice sounding truly gorgeous. The versatile Chidzey enjoys solid chemistry with Browne, and proves herself a highly accomplished dancer.

Matt Lee looks the part of Cosmo, and certainly impresses in dance.

Audiences are sure to enjoy this rarely seen musical, and are sure to be left humming the tunes for days to come.

Simon Parris, Man in Chair
The Production Company has prepared a dynamic 15th anniversary revival of Gypsy, regarded as the last important traditional musical comedy.

Director Gale Edwards drew bravura performances from her cast, magnificently headlined by Caroline O’Connor as Rose, the ruthlessly controlling stage-mother. Rose’s climatic Rose’s Turn is a staggering tour de force as she realises that she has been abandoned by everyone. Christina Tan was compelling in the title role, as was Matt Hetherington as Herbie, Rose’s long-time boyfriend. Chloe Dallimore, Nicki Wendt and Anne Wood played three jaded strippers to magnificent effect, while musical director Guy Simpson drew the very best out of Orchestra Victoria.

Peter Burch, The Australian

(Matt) Hetherington is outstanding and carries the show for most of its two-and-a-half hours with ardour…Nadia Tass’ direction, with slick choreography by Tanya Mitford, reins in the carry-on to just the right amount of silliness and soars in the uproarious bar scene with its carefully constructed drunks, especially Marge MacDougall (a scene-stealing Chelsea Plumley) out-lushing everyone.


The Production Company has raised the bar yet again with a magnificently sung, visually splendid staging that highlights the gripping drama…

Director Gale Edwards has achieved the near impossible by presenting the narrative with crystal clarity while also creating lush romance and palpable tension that builds to a compelling climax.

It is hard to imagine a more divine leading couple fort this show than Simon Gleeson and Silvie Paladino. Their brilliant singing and acting skills are put to terrific use in the romance between defecting Russian, Anatoly, and his opponent’s partner, Florence.

Gleeson’s rich, soaring tenor and superb expression are of a quality rarely heard. Paladino’s warm presence and vocal beauty easily capture audience hearts. Martin Crewes also excels as the American, Freddy, displaying his full strength in the dramatic act two ballad, ‘Pity the Child’. Just when it seems the evening cannot get any better, Alinta Chidzey makes her entrance as Anatoly’s wife Svetlana, sweetly delivering the gorgeous ‘Someone Else’s Story’.

Simon Parris, Sunday Herald Sun
True to form, The Production Company have assembled a strong cast for this run. Master of slapstick comedy Wayne Scott Kermond is a fantastically hyperactive Bialystock, never more so than in his crazy re-enactment of the whole show in a five minute song.

Brent Hill captures Leo Bloom’s bumbling naivety, and Christie Whelan-Browne has all her curves in the right places. Trevor Ashley brings his wealth of experience in cabaret to his wonderful portrayal of Franz Liebkind, the writer of “Springtime for Hitler”, and Virginia Gay is hilarious as the appropriately named Hold me Touch Me, a randy octogenarian backer. The principals are supported by a fine cast of singer/dancers, choreographed with precision by Andrew Hallsworth.

Aussie Theatre
The principal casting is perfection, with Pamela Rabe as the 47 year old Big Edie in the first act then, in the second act, as the 56 year-old Little Edie to Nancye Hayes’s 79 year-old Big Edie. Their performances are consummate as the complex inter-dependency of their relationship unravels.

Director Roger Hodgman delivered a beautifully nuanced production on Richard Roberts’s effective set, while musical director Kellie Dickerson drew an excellent accompaniment from an ensemble of Orchestra Victoria players.

Peter Burch, The Australian
Lovers of time honoured musicals would be hard pressed to find a more beautifully sung production than The Production Company’s Kismet.

At The Production Company’s Kismet, audience members are the Strangers in Paradise, enjoying a glittering production of a seldom seen musical.

Owing more to the world of operetta than Broadway, Kismet harks form a bygone age of the theatre and as such it fits perfectly into TPC’s long stated goal to present rarely staged shows. Clearly a labour of love from all concerned, the production is as lavish as one could hope for in a concert setting, with costumes and choreography, in particular, being artistic highpoints.

Simon Parris, theatrepeople.com.au
The Production Company’s wise choices of shows, stage and music directors, choreographers, costume, set, lighting and sound designers and generally flawless casting, with fantastic accompaniment by our indispensible Orchestra Victoria, guarantee that its performances enchant Melbourne’s audiences.

Launching this years season, the Production Company revived Cole Porter’s brash, evergreen Anything Goes, last staged by it a decade ago. The Anything Goes dream cast, led by Amanda Harrison, Alex Rathgeber, Todd McKenney, Christie Whelan and Wayne Scott Kermond, brought all of this together in a joyous, life-affirming staging of Porter’s enduring musical confection that thrilled its capacity audience and warmed Melbourne’s winter.

Peter Burch, The Australian