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REVIEW: Fiddler on the Roof
7:56am Wednesday 11th September 2013 in Entertainments
“I hope this is good,” we commented on the way into the Mayflower. “It goes on for three hours.”
It was the world premiere of the UK tour of Fiddler on the Roof, which opened on Thursday.
There’s nothing worse than the curtain going up on something that you know within minutes is going to be dreadful but offers no hope of escape for hours on end.
This show opened, as it aptly does, with a fiddler on a roof.
She was a sprite-like figure who shadowed the action and reflected poor Russian milkman Tevye’s conflicting desires to uphold tradition yet explore change, to allow his beloved daughters to pursue happiness or to ensure they are well-fed and safe.
Paul Michael Glaser - Starsky of Starsky and Hutch fame - was in the 1971 film of Fiddler as the love interest of Tevye’s second daughter, before he was ever flashing his cop badge in California, and this was no TV actor trying to keep up with the voices of the stage stars.
He is more than capable of being the central pin in this show, aided by a cast of astoundingly talented actor-musicians.
Craig Revel Horwood’s direction is insightful and nuanced, with attention paid to every little detail and each tiny gesture.
Fiddler is a tale that makes you laugh and cry. It gives you hope for, and faith in, humanity even while you wonder at its pointless cruelty and prejudice.
This is a gem of a production.
I would happily have stayed for three more hours.
• Fiddler on the Roof is at the Mayflower until Saturday, September 14.