Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * * *
Cast: Richard Bremmer, Patrick Brennan, George Caple, Pauline Daniels, Laura Dos Santos, Emily Hughes, Tom Kanji, Asha Kingsley, Elliott Kingsley,Melanie La Barrie, Dean Nolan, Zelina Rebeiro, Keddy Sutton, Liam Tobin, Catronia Chandler, Nadia Mohamad Noor, Darci Shaw, Ellie Turner, Jamie Pye, Nathan Russell, Stuie Diagnall, Aaron Kehoe.
Fiddler on The Roof is arguably one of the great cinematic treats, a film that perhaps does not get the attention it deserves in the modern sense and yet one, if viewed with a sense of propriety and respect, is still hugely relevant in today’s bitter society. The parallels between the world of 1905 and the Russian Pogroms and the sour taste of a world lurching with acidic temperament to the Right is almost too much to bear, lessons have not been learned and the worry of displacement, of state sponsored terror in the form of nationalism and destroying the culture of a different race. It is a lesson we need to learn once more lest the horrors that followed are repeated.
Fiddler on The Roof is the first of five plays at the Everyman under the banner of the new Rep, this wonderfully diverse cast which includes the fantastic Keddy Sutton, the marvellous Liam Tobin, Pauline Daniels, Emily Hughes and Dean Nolan in amongst its overflowing talent, a rep company that took possibly a very difficult text to its heart as its first offering and with consummate skill, uplifting humour and inspiring choreography, gave this new dream and gave it a home.
With Dean Nolan returning to the Everyman, memories of his performance as Bottom in Nick Bagnall’s directed A Midsummer Night’s Dream resurfaced, the gentle act of persuasion in belief of his charm in any persona an abiding toast raised forever when they come to write the history of the new Everyman Theatre, this was more than hope can ever be thankful for. Mr. Nolan’s time on stage as Motel, the poor Tailor, was exquisite, a force of energy and sublime skill which was matched stride for stride by Patrick Brennan as Tevye, the father of the five daughters and who it must be added took on the memorable role in such a way that it truly ranked alongside Topol’s in the cinematic musical offering from 1971.
This is not to be taken lightly, after all Topol’s performance is one of the most abiding in musical film history, yet Patrick Brennan brings an element of desire in the darkness, the resignation of fate and pathos is always a hard act to truly get across, especially in a character of complex thought, despite him being considered the lowliest of the low in his village; Mr. Brennan is Tevye in a way that Topol could not have been.
One of the most enjoyable, heart breaking, joyful and beautifully choreographed performances to have been put on in Liverpool in the last two decades, a scintillating celebration of Company, of dedication and of musical theatre; this is a moment in which the Everyman Theatre stood high and politely relished in the achievement of all concerned. Magnificent, a blessing of Theatre.
Ian D. Hall