Jewelle Blackman (top) with Kate Henning (bottom centre) and company (photo by Cylla von Tiedemann)
This Fiddler may play it safe, but the effect is powerful
by Stuart Munro and Dave Ross
Dave Ross: I have to agree completely. The script is funny, but Wentworth’s identical delivery of every joke or punchline served to make the humour unnecessarily obvious to the audience. I was able to mostly dismiss this until the end of Act II, when he put on a satirical sing-song voice to mimic the parting words of one of his daughters, which completely destroyed what should have been a powerful and tender moment. It was disappointing and made me angry, all at once. Additionally, whenever Tevye addresses God, he addresses the same spot in the catwalks every time, despite having this magnificent Heaven directly above his head. The little praise I have for Wentworth was that he didn’t turn Tevye into an unfortunate stereotype or caricature, as can happen with characters such as this. There are very good performances in this show, and I for one was blown away by Kate Hennig as Golde. I’ve seen Hennig in a handful of productions now (including Stratford’s Romeo and Juliet) and she is a phenomenal performer.
Also see, video: The bottle dance from Stratford's Fiddler