Theatre Review – ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ (Everyman Theatre Company)

Hello everyone! 🙂

Welcome to ‘Bradley’s Basement’ blog and I’m Tim Bradley!

As my parents and I saw the Everyman Theatre Company production of ‘Dad’s Army’ at the Open Air Theatre Festival in Sophia Gardens, Cardiff, it seemed fair to see the stage production of ‘Fiddler on the Roof’. We saw this stage production last Friday in the evening and we definitely had a good time.

For those of you who don’t know, ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ is based on the original Broadway stage show that was opened in 1964. Over the years, ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ has had a long run of stage productions as well as the successful film adaptation directed by Norman Jewison, released in 1971.

Of course, I came across ‘Fiddler of the Roof’ via the film starring Topol as Tevye the dairyman. The story is such a wonderful combination of music and comedy, set in the little Ukrainian village of Anatevka in 1905 and it is about a deeply religious Jewish man, his family and the world around him.

The stage production I saw last Friday in Sophia Gardens, Cardiff is clearly more based on the original 1964 stage show rather than the 1971 film. Although the original stage show and the film are so identical to each other that it’s pretty hard to distinguish the two from each other while watching it.

This wasn’t the first time I saw a theatre production of ‘Fiddler on the Roof’. I actually saw a production of it back in 2014 (I think) at a theatre in Newport. This was before I even had a blog and did reviews on it. So I’m happy to say that I’ve seen a production of it and can now happily review it.

What did I make of this stage production of ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ then? It was pretty impressive. It had a huge cast and the musical performances of everyone were so good. There was even a little musical band performing on the left side of the stage whenever a musical number and song was on.

But of course, an open air theatre production isn’t without its teething problems. For one thing, there were occasions when it rained during the evening. There was even a helicopter flying overhead which ruined a few important tender scenes. But the cast continued on regardless of this.

Speaking of the cast, Paul Williams is very good as Tevye. He did really well aspiring to match up to Topol’s film performance which is no mean feat and his enthusiasm and passion shine throughout. I even laughed at a number of the comedic moments with Tevye, his wife and other characters in this play.

A lot of the cast mainly provided vocal singing performances rather than major acting roles. There was a dream scene where Tevye and his wife Golde get haunted by Fruma Sarah’s ghost and some of it was done by puppets. It freaked me out as well as surprised me when I saw that amazing scene. 😀

I recognised one of the cast members who performed in the ‘Dad’s Army’ stage production. Clive Riches who played Nachum the beggar in ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ previously played Godfrey in the ‘Dad’s Army’ stage production. I’m pleased I had the programme booklet to check and confirm on it.

But the highlight of ‘Fiddler of the Roof’ stage performance is the musical numbers and songs. I know these songs pretty well from seeing the 1971 film umpteenth times. There was ‘Tradition’, ‘If I Were A Rich Man’ and ‘Sunrise, Sunset’. Every time a song was done, the audience applauded for it.

The ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ stage production by the Everyman Theatre Company in Sophia Gardens, Cardiff was great to see. I had a good time watching this stage performance as well as my parents. It is pretty lengthy, matching to three hours in all, but nothing gets boring and it’s impressive to see.

Thanks for reading!

Bye for now!

Tim. 🙂

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