Fiddler On The Roof

Fiddler On The Roof

Written by Joseph Stein
Directed by Gemma Bodinetz
Musical Director: George Francis
Liverpool Everyman
Until 11th March 2017

Reviewed by Colin Serjent

Musicals are not my cup of tea, or given the location where this play is based, my glass of vodka!

At times I found it a mite too overblown and certain scenes, such as the celebrations at a Jewish wedding, overlong.

The most notable aspect of the evening was the emotionally stirring music played by a four piece Klezmer band, who added a life-affirming spirit and warmth to the production.

Another notable feature was the heralding of the first Everyman Repertory Company (comprising 14 actors) presentation in 25 years. Fiddler On The Roof being the first of five productions they are staging in this season’s programme.

Set in a Russian village in 1905, during the anti-Semitic programs, this new adaptation by Everyman Artistic Director Gemma Bodinetz, resonates with what is taking place in the world in present times.

This was particularly the case towards the end, when people in contemporary dress, are seen being displaced from where they have always lived, either through war, economic recession or climate change, to end up in exile in countries where the native people discriminate against them or reject them.

The most charismatic actor was Patrick Brennan in the lead role of Tevye, a poverty-stricken dairyman, a father of five daughters, three of whom are eager, but not initially with their father’s blessing, to get married.

His rendition of ‘If I Were A Rich Man’, forever associated with Topol, was impressive.

The next four plays to be performed by the new repertory company up to June are ‘The Conquest Of The South Pole’, ‘The Story Giant’, ‘The Sum’, and ‘Romeo And Juliet’.

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