Fiddler on the Roof
First things first. Paul Michael Glaser might be forever remembered as Starsky, but his Tevye is nerve tinglingly brilliant and deserving of all the applause in the opening night standing ovation.
And that’s not to take anything away from the most multi-talented ensemble you’ll see at the Lyceum this year. They sing; they dance; they’re the orchestra and they act their socks off.
Fiddler is a bit of a marathon but every minute counts in this Craig Revel Horwood production which is as creative as it is innovative and brings a choreographic sparkle to the show of pace and shade.
Paul Michael Glaser’s portrayal of the Russian Jewish milkman and father of five is as sensitive as it is assured. He gives a masterclass in the art of facial expression (especially the eyes) and precise timing.
Did I mention Jennifer Douglas as the fiddler on the roof of Diego Pitarch’s wonderful set? She’s superb. Alan Powell
Never Try This At Home
On the surface Told by an Idiot’s new show is an affectionate homage to the days of anarchic live Saturday morning kids’ TV but something darker lurks below.
It recreates a Tiswas-like show called Shushi with naff catchphrases, crazy games like Nobby’s Tool Time and Kick a Vicar, love of pranks and custard pies.
But, we are told, it all imploded in what proved the final episode in 1979 when an obsessive fan (Okorie Chukwu) took matters into his own hands and the female presenter (Petra Massey) was pushed to attempting suicide on air.
We see it through the framework of a modern-day TV programme with its self-regarding and crassly insensitive host (Niall Ashdown) exposing the rampant misogyny and racism of the day.
And while it’s all great fun and the cast which also includes Stephen Harper, Ged Simmons.and Sheffielder Dudley Rees show great alacrity with slapstick it doesn’t have a lot to say beyond things were different back then.
It must always be an eye-opener for the house band of local youngsters (here from City School).