Actor, writer, director and magician Andy Nyman adds another string to his bow as Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof at London’s Playhouse Theatre.
Nyman (Ghost Stories, Dead Set) steps into Topol‘s sizeable shoes and proves he can sing as well as he can get ripped apart by zombies. The rest of the cast are equally solid, even if their Ukrainian Yiddish accents have a tendency to wander like it’s some kind of diaspora.
The impressive set is beautifully lit by lamps outside the shtetl houses, with the band and even punters incorporated into the staging, breaking the fourth wall like in the Norman Jewison version. Incidentally Jewison isn’t Jewish, so please refrain from abusing him online (even though he did technically kill Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar).
The current climate of antisemitism haunts the production, lending weight to Tevye’s cry of “Some things do not change for us. Some things will never change,” encapsulating the Jewish condition both in terms of tradition (TRADITION!) and persecution.
While this tension between liberalisation and custom was updated in last year’s Jewish lesbian drama Disobedience (AKA Fiddle Her on the Roof), the songs remain as catchy and witty as ever, articulating ideas that deserve to be shouted from the rooftops: “Some are driven away by edicts, others by silence.”