Well known and loved locally for their all singing all dancing productions of the classic musicals, this autumn, Hereford Musical Theatre Company decided to go a little off piste to bring us The Producers, a musical with its tongue very firmly in its satirical cheek.

It was a bold move, but it’s one that emphatically pays off and delivers a production that’s packed with laughs, a ridiculous plot, a memorable score … and mechanical pigeons! Not forgetting the great choreography – surely every show should include tap dancing! – from Amy Virgo Brigham.

Directed by Richard Davies, the story of failing Broadway producer Max Bialystock’s less-than-noble plot, inspired by his accountant, the nervy Leo Bloom, to put on the biggest flop in history and clean up financially, fairly zips along.

From the pairing of Shay Morris (Bloom) and Ian Burrell (Bialystock) – a great comic duo who perfectly inhabit their characters – to the very gay Roger De Bris (Steven Allan) and his assistant Carmen Ghia (a nicely expressive turn by Eddie Bindloss that threatened to upstage everyone) and Alison Allan as Ulla, the casting was spot-on and, fittingly for a musical as camp as The Producers, they were all clearly having a ball.

Having found the script they’re certain will fail, Bialystock and Bloom find themselves compromised as they attempt to secure the rights to Springtime for Hitler from the escaped Nazi and pigeon fancier Franz Liebkind. Next stop – finding the worst director in musical history. Cue Robert De Bris and his insistence on ‘keeping it gay’ and it’s not hard to see where the show is headed!

When Franz breaks a leg, but has no understudy, the only option is Roger, and an outrageously camp opening number – Springtime for Hitler (and Germany/winter for Poland and France) – which, contrary to every expectation, proves a massive hit … when Bialystock is arrested, Bloom makes a run for it to Brazil with Ulla and leaves his partner in the lurch … but you can’t keep The Producers down for long.

As always with HMTC, The Producers is a team effort and together – from principals to dancers to the chorus and the backstage members – they’ve created magic … and at least one earworm.

The Producers continues at The Courtyard until Saturday, November 10. To book, call the box office on 01432 340555 or visit courtyard.org.uk