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Fiddler on the Roof (UK tour)

November 17, 2013

Paul Michael Glaser as Tevre in the UK touring production of FIDDLER ON THE ROOF at the Wolverhampton Grand is a performance worth seeing. He is more character actor than a singer and this suits the role well. Those of my generation will know him better as Starsky from the 1970’s TV show although he also played the role of Perchick in the 1971 movie of this show and has a wealth of theatrical experience which shows. He is Tevre.

This show has the excellent production values for the West End stage which is increasingly the norm for UK tours. What is so special about this production is Craig Revel Horwood‘s innovative direction which doubles up the actors as the orchestra playing their instruments on stage. The Fiddler on the Roof literally is a Fiddler on the Roof! The instruments are the characters too. I have seen Craig do this before with his production of “Sunset Boulevard” but here it works seamlessly because the folk music fits in so well with the folk setting and enhances the reality. This show is full of incredible performances from a top quality cast but I have to mention Susannah Van Den Berg who not only plays her part well but her Clarinet playing brings the house down.

I also really appreciated the historical, social and cultural significance of this show with great songs full of wisdom. I really appreciate being educated through entertainment and this show shines a light on the history of the plight of the Jews in Russia. How do you sustain tradition in the face of progress? The original production of the show ran for eight years in New York. In London it opened at Her Majesty’s Theatre in 1967 with Topol in the lead role and ran for 2030 performances. The UK tour will be back in the Midlands next March at the Birmingham Hippodrome.

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