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Direct from its sold-out run at the Menier Chocolate Factory, Tony and Oliver-award winning director Trevor Nunn’s “exuberant revival” (Daily Telegraph) of the classic Fiddler on the Roof has now extended its West End run.
The Playhouse Theatre has been especially transformed into an immersive space for this “shiveringly intimate chamber musical about family” (The Times).
With Fiddler on the Roof’s West End run now set to continue until 28 September 2019, here’s everything you need to know about the iconic show.
What is Fiddler On The Roof about?
Fiddler on the Roof sees old traditions and young love collide as Tevye’s daughters’ unexpected choice of husbands opens his heart to new possibilities, as his close-knit community also feel winds of change blowing through their tiny village.
Directed by Trevor Nunn, and created by Joseph Stein, Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick, Fiddler on the Roof is based on a series of short stories by Yiddich writer Solomon Rabinovich under his pen name, Sholem Aleichem.
Featuring the iconic numbers Tradition, Matchmaker Matchmaker, Sunrise Sunset and If I Were a Rich Man, the production includes choreography by Jerome Robbins and Matt Cole, design from Robert Jones, costume from Jonathan Lipman, lighting from Tim Lutkin, sound design from Gregory Clarke, musical direction from Paul Bogaev and orchestrations from Jason Carr.
Who stars in Fiddler On The Roof?
This joyous and timely celebration of life stars the excellent Andy Nyman as Tevye and the equally sublime Judy Kuhn as Golde, a milk-maker and his wife, who live on a farm with their five daughters.
Both Nyman and Kuhn reprise their acclaimed roles from the production’s run at the Menier Chocolate Factory, joined by Nicola Brown as Chava, Harriet Bunton as Hodel, Dermot Canavan as Lazar Wolf, Stewart Clarke as Perchik, Joshua Gannon as Motel, Matthew Hawksley as Fyedka, Louise Gold as Yente and Molly Osborne as Tzeitel.
The cast is completed by an extensive ensemble, who brilliantly bring the bustling village of Anatevka to life.
What can audiences expect from Fiddler on the Roof?
London’s Playhouse Theatre has once again been transformed to envelop the audience in playwright Joseph Stein’s world. On arrival, with the stalls dimly lit, the impressive ensemble cast mingle on stage before the village of Anatevka seamlessly extends into the audience as the musical begins. With it, director Trevor Nunn builds a truly immersive West End experience, with ominous footsteps emerging from behind during the ever-tense pivotal moments.
Yet Fiddler on the Roof perfectly balances this tension with a hearty dose of humour, not least due to the expert performance of leading duo Andy Nyman and Broadway legend Judy Kuhn as Tevye and Golde respectively. The humour never detracts from the increasingly serious subject matter, instead adding a perfect level of humanity to otherwise impossible situations.
As Teyve, Nyman expertly portrays the struggles of a man dealing with change, perfectly utilising Stein’s carefully crafted words during his regular one-sided discussions and disagreements with his god. Almost ever-present on stage, he leads an equally talented cast representing the various nuances of faith, community and individualisation. All excel, from the troublesome but ultimately good-natured Yente (played by Louise Gold) to the journey of self-discovery Joshua Gannon’s Motel undertakes.
Teyve’s inner struggles play out against the backdrop of poverty and political discontent, with Fiddler on the Roof swaying between the jovial and celebratory, and its ever-looming dark undercurrent. This juxtaposition is sudden and palpable, cleverly mirroring the realities for many current day minorities. It portrays both with mastery, from triumphant matrimony to imprisonment, and from personal to private exile.
Jerry Bock’s iconic music, accompanied by Sheldon Harnick’s lyrics, remain truly timeless. Offering true representation of the life and plight of those of the Jewish faith, the musical numbers don’t attempt to sugarcoat. Instead they match the true success of Fiddler on the Roof in illustrating the good and bad; the personal stories that intertwine to define the extremes of humanity.
What else do I need to know?
Fiddler on the Roof is now booking at the Playhouse Theatre until 28 September 2019. The show runs for 2 hours and 50 minutes, including interval.
Tickets for Fiddler on the Roof are available now. Find yours through Ticketmaster.co.uk.
Photos by Johan Persson