‘Franz is not the full ticket’

Phill Jupitus plays Franz Liebkind   in The Producers at MK Theatre in March
Phill Jupitus plays Franz Liebkind in The Producers at MK Theatre in March
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Comedian, performance poet and BBC 2 quiz captain Phill Jupitus, 52, is a man of many parts.

His latest is as Franz Liebkind in The Producers, the hilarious musical comedy that’s taken the West End and Broadway by storm – winning a record-breaking 12 Tony and three Olivier awards – and coming to Milton Keynes Theatre at the end of next month.

Phill first saw the Academy Award-winning movie on which it’s based when he was a lad.

He said: “I was just a kid but I became a big, big Mel Brooks fan.

“It’s slightly daunting appearing in it now and such a responsibility to Kenneth Mars who created the character. I’m doing it slightly differently, but not disrepectfully.

“Franz fought for the Germans in World War Two and suffers from post traumatic stress disorder – he is not quite the full ticket.

“He lives on the top floor of an apartment block in Greenwich Village and thinks he can redeem Hitler’s image through his musical tribute Springtime with Hitler.”

Ross Noble takes over the role in May, when Phill will be getting his act together for Glastonbury and the Edinburgh Festival.

He loves the variety that has been the bedrock of his career. “It’s what’s kept me in the business,” he said. “You can do lots of different stuff and that’s what appeals about the job.”

> The Producers at MKTheatre from March 30 - April 4.