Director: Craig Revel Horwood

From the outset it is evident that this is a visual treat: a revolving house, atmospheric lighting and above all the hypnotic effect of the actor /musicians who act, sing, dance and play their way through this wonderful score and classic tale. This will be a production to stay with you for a long time, a wonderful reception from the packed house celebrating the life affirming story was a great start to the week.

Fiddler on the Roof is a heart warming and at times heartbreaking tale of the residents of Anatevka, a close knit community in Russia on the eve of the Russian revolution. Tevye, the milkman is holding together the few remaining traditions that have formed the very fabric of their lives, until his daughters find love beyond the matchmaker and beyond their faith. The effects of which challenge the family unit to the core. With the rising revolution and displacement of the Jewish community the world becomes a strange place with few traditions left to follow and reluctantly Tevye accepts the growing need for change in order to stay together.

The triumphant score by Jerry Bock soars through the excellent arrangements and musical direction (Sarah Travis.) The ensemble sing and dance as if their lives depend on it, the classic “bottle dance” during the wedding is as mesmerising as ever.

Paul Michael Glaser is a hugely compassionate, humble and kind Tevye; his monologues reflecting a giant of a father fighting to do the best for his daughters whom he loves without question, whilst abiding by the traditions which rule his life. It is a warm, big hearted, endearing performance, well balanced by Karen Mann (Golde) his sharp tongued, hard working, much maligned wife of many years.

The daughters and their suitors make up a very strong cast who carry the story with great integrity and soul. It is without question a story that will never age, the overriding themes of love and living carry the darker moments into an uplifting celebration of life and the need for family and the love of those around you.

Petra Schofield