Fiddler on the Roof, Chichester Festival Theatre, Chichester. August 2017
This was what has become our annual treat with Mr Norfolkbookworm's aunt, but I think that in this case I was the only one in the audience who didn't know the entire plot of the show.
For some reason I've never seen this before, either on stage or the film version which is strange as I know that it is one of my dad's favourites. I know the famous song of course (If I Were a Rich Man) and I think I'd heard Matchmaker, Matchmaker and Sun Rise, Sun Set before but that was it.
During the first act I wasn't convinced, Tevye and Golda spoke with Russian/Yiddish accents but their equally rural children all spoke with almost RP accents and for a while this stopped me being drawn in to the story. I also found it a little over long in the first part - I don't know what could have been shaved but at the interval I was definitely pleased that act two was going to be a lot shorter.
And here's the lesson why you should never leave at the interval because all of the build up in that long first act paid off and I was utterly immersed in the story by the end and truly sad that it came to and end. I want to know what happened to all of the characters after they were forced out of their village - such and open and potentially sad ending was a real surprise.
Another real surprise was just how good Omid Djalili was - I'd seen him on stage in What the Butler Saw a few years ago and I really disliked his acting, but here he was Tevye and the lynch pin of the production.
I am not sure if this really counts as a musical - I feel that a play with some songs is a more accurate description for the songs don't really move the plot on at any point, they just emphasis what is said/shown but I am glad that we saw it. I might not have been keen at the interval but by the end I was won over and now I can't stop thinking about is which means that it was obviously a good outing!