Friday, July 27, 2012


Chelmsford Theatre Workshop at the Old Court

Jim Hutchon was there for the Chelmsford Weekly News: 

"For her début as a director, Kelly McGibney has chosen a subject close to her heart - the brutal murder of young gay American Matthew Shepard in a hate crime that shook the insular world of Laramie, Wyoming.

The play depicts the events leading up to the murder through the words of Laramie residents, and Kelly employed a simple, clear-sighted approach to the cold-blooded and casual details of the murder and reactions. This was highly effective in getting the sheer enormity of the appalling crime and the underlying attitudes through to the audience.

The story then rather started to unravel as the narrative was increasingly given over to the well-rehearsed arguments for gay tolerance in a frankly rambling, undisciplined and over-long follow up. There were still signs of very imaginative directing – stunning visual cameos and superb acting, but they couldn’t balance the general tedium of a 3 hour play that, with the superb material at the writer’s command, should have been highly selective, much more effective and shorter.

The eight actors played greatly differing parts from red-necks to vicars to anti-gay campaigners to residents, all convincing and with great understanding and rock-solid accents. The set was beautifully minimal and the sparse music well-chosen and to the point."

Docudrama, verbatim theatre or agit-prop – however you label it, this is an important piece, a GCSE set text and a classic of its kind.
None of which makes it any easier to do. The original piece was done by actors [Tectonic Theatre] who went out to Wyoming to interview the characters who people the play. The eight members of the company took on the sixty-plus roles, as well as occasionally playing "themselves".

CTW, in a typically ambitious project of their own, are at one further remove from the reality: standing on the other side of the world, playing the actor/researchers as well as the huge range of real people whose lives find themselves under the media microscope when a brutal attack becomes a notorious hate crime. Mothers and medics, friends, walk-on strangers, community leaders, academics and students see their Wyoming town – "good people, lots of space" – re-defined by a sordid assault.

The eight performances were excellently done – a small detail of costume, a subtle change of tone, of body language, and there's another Laramie local before us under the harsh glare. We watch, scarcely breathing, scarcely believing, as the place tears itself apart; the incoherent, the inarticulate, the poetical and the passionate all clamouring for our attention. Hearts are often on sleeves, emotions rarely held in check. We sense that many of these people would have been just as happy to open up to Jerry Springer.

Amazing how much religion shapes the story. Not just the priests and the preachers, but the echoes of the crucifixion against the fence, the vigil at the shrine, the suggestion of martyrdom, the excommunication [by the Mormons] of one of the accused, the constant presence of God and the Bible in the lives of Laramie.

A strong, impressive end to the season for CTW, directed by Kelly McGibney and Tony Ellis.


National Theatre at the Cottesloe

This review refers to an early preview. If you want to do what I did, and come to the piece with the book unread and the plot unspoiled, look away now. Get into the Cottesloe if you can, or see the show beamed via NT live to your local cinema.

They promised that if we were interested, we could stay behind to hear how he solved his A-level maths problem.
[In the book, it's an appendix.] But like many promises in the troubled life of Christopher Boone, it seems to have been broken. No train ran round level 2 in the Cottesloe, either.

How to turn Mark Haddon's unique book into a stage play ?
The chief obstacle is the narrator's voice: the book he writes – prominent, with its green cover, in this staging – is the medium for everything we learn about the two mysteries in his teenage life, and though there is direct speech, it is presumably as he remembered it.

Approaches might include narration, or a physical theatre approach, with minimal set and props, or a literal acting -out [reflecting Christopher's metaphor-free world view], or a high-tech spectacle, in deference to his love of computers. Or, if desperate, have the story acted out as a play at his special school, Marat/Sade-style.

Simon Stephens' adaptation, directed by Marianne Elliott, has elements of all these; the last, despite acting being a kind of lying, provides some nicely witty moments, including the head-teacher of the school having her verbatim say, and Christopher intervening to adjust details of accuracy and casting.

But, perhaps deliberately, it makes for a confusing experience. When he finds the letters hidden beneath the toolkit [after an amusingly literal search of dad's bedroom], they are real letters [they later flutter down from the roof]. But when he sits down to read them, they are mimed. The panic at Paddington is partly physical [movement by Frantic Assembly], partly soundtrack, as is the – very successful – sequence on the train. And then there's the question of empathy. We cannot help putting ourselves into the shoes of the chap who rescues Christopher [and Toby] in the tube, and misses his train. More importantly, Paul Ritter's Ed and Nicola Walker's Judy – both superb performances, the father hesitant and desperate in his frustration, the mother longing to love her literally unlovable boy – are known by us directly, which seems to go against the spirit of the original.

Niamh Cusack's Siobhan has much of the narration, and is a positive, stable voice in a very turbulent tale. Excellent support from the ensemble, who spend much of the time sitting around the edge of the acting area, Equus-style. Including of course Una Stubbs as the neighbour who blabs and longs to chat with Christopher.

The boy is played very convincingly by Luke Treadaway. Obsessive, gifted, confused, bruised and edgy, he manages to show us the hurtful, damaged adult world from his naïve viewpoint, and let us inside his very private universe, helped by some haunting images of space and mathematics.

The floor is used as a screen [glad we chose an upper level] – negative graph-paper, bits of which move up to be a desk, down to be the tube track. The model railway works [as a metaphor, for me] and Sandy is flesh-and-blood. There are blocks [numbered] for furniture, which re-inforces the feel of drama-school work, and the primes are scattered around the auditorium, with envelopes promising prizes. "293", next to us, was that promise kept, I wonder ?

Monday, July 23, 2012


Shakespeare's Globe

Shakespeare's play, one of his earliest successes, has such a strong hold on the popular imagination that his hunchback, fascinatingly repulsive and ruthlessly ambitious, is now our stock image of this much-maligned monarch.

Mark Rylance, in a triumphant return to Shakespeare's Globe, effortlessly holds the stage in a fast-moving production by Tim Carroll. No-one knows better how to engage with the groundlings, and his trademark delivery – hesitant, natural, off-hand – suits most of the soliloquies and the asides. Shakespeare's Richard is shockingly honest, and there is a palpable frisson at some of the most outrageous lines.

Though this is dangerously close to being a one-man show, there is excellent support from some of the greatest Globe actors from the last ten years. Colin Hurley, ashen and asthmatic as the dying King, Peter Hamilton Dyer as Catesby, Liam Brennan outstanding as an imposing, and beautifully spoken, Clarence. And James Garnon, [who also gave us his Duchess of York] worth waiting for as the triumphant Henry VII.

This is an original practices production, with young men for the Queens, including a remarkable Queen Elizabeth from Sam Barnett, and none of the stage design excrescences that have marked directors' visions recently.

So more room in the yard for the mob, all too ready to laugh at the hunchback's asides and to cheer him on to kingship. But we were attentive, too, for some of the more intense moments: the dream before Bosworth, for instance, with its shrouded ghosts, who also returned to haunt the field of battle.

Sunday, July 22, 2012


Little Waltham Drama Group at the Memorial Hall

Lingerie party plans are big business – KnixKnaxKnox in Stoke, Aphrodyte in Mold, and in Little Waltham last week, Lady Lace: "Rain, snow, sleet or storm, Lady Lace will keep you warm" – these fictional, and very flimsy, scanties would struggle in our climate.

This short comedy – often done as a one-acter – provided some super opportunities for girl talk, seized enthusiastically by the cast, especially Karen Allan as the man-hungry Carole, Kim Travell as the dowdy doormat who, to no-one's surprise, is transformed by Dawn's undies and a major makeover, and Vicky Weavers as the heartless Jessica. Julie Cole was the rep; like the others she loosened up as the Liebfraumilch flowed, and the sherry, and the pea pod wine ...

The token man – butt of much sexist banter – was Ken Little's Rex, with excellent comic timing.

The suburban snobbery puts this piece firmly into Abigail's Party territory – just the Demis Roussos and the olives missing – and, although it's not a period piece, it did feel strangely dated, with its references to Dennis Healey and Ex-Lax.

But the party-plan scene is ripe for sending up, and this production, directed by Kathy Jiggins and Viv Abrey, provided much uncomplicated fun for the loyal audience, and for the cast, too, no doubt.

Friday, July 20, 2012


Queen's Theatre Hornchurch

So that's why it's called the Queen's. Like Her Majesty, Hornchurch's own theatre is celebrating sixty glorious years. And what better way to do it than one of its community musicals, filling the stage with enthusiastic, and impressively talented, local actors, directed by Patrick O'Sullivan, and supported by a dedicated professional team from the Queen's Education and Outreach Department.

It is an amazing story. The first council-funded theatre in the UK, born out of noisy public meetings and the unstoppable enthusiasm of youngsters whose love of theatre was sparked on the steps of the silent cinema.

But this is not a dry documentary. Devised specially by a local writing team, headed by Dave Ross, it's more of a fable, a fantasy of the way Chaplin's City Lights, re-enacted by the kids on the block, fuels a passion for performance which survives war and politics, and sees the fleapit on Station Lane transformed into an auditorium for fortnightly rep, pantomime and amateur operetta.

In front of a near-life-size façade, this affectionate alternative history features heroes and villains, and an angel in the unlikely shape of actor-laddie Steven Roberts [Steve Probert].

Steven Markwick's music [he was also MD for the show] catches the mood nicely, with a knees-up opener – "The Pictures or the Pub", a clever dovetailing of the cynical "More" [I'd Rather Be A Wealthy Philistine – still a common cry sixty years on] and "On The Rebound", the tongue-in-cheek dream sequence of "Paying Guest" and the charmingly poignant "On The Steps Of The Silent Cinema".

The end of Act One, with the whole company reprising two of the strongest numbers as tragedy strikes, was very effective, as was the moment when the children turn into young people.

The chief protagonists were Real Best Friends Georgie [Ben Cooke / Matthew Gentle-Shepherd as a child – both superb] and Jimmy [Samuel Ward-Smith / Harleigh Stenning], Maggie [strongly sung by Gemma Castle - Amelia Bright her younger self] and baddie Brian [Alex Donald / James Elliott], with a lovely cameo from Sharon Sims as the barmaid Jeanie.

But fittingly, it is a company show, and everyone involved gave 100% to this timely retelling of a success story which still continues to this day. The bulldozers did eventually raze the picture house, once the company had moved up to Billet Lane and the purpose-built house we know and love today. And the Queen's Players were succeeded by Cut to the Chase, whose special anniversary season starts in August with Return to the Forbidden Planet, one of the greatest hits ever to come out of the Queen's ...

Thursday, July 19, 2012


Tomorrow's Talent at the Civic Theatre

I know now what it would feel like to be a disaffected teenager at the opera. What are these people in their attic singing about ? Why can't I get into this music ? Why can't I understand the words ?

Gavin Wilkinson's Rent uses the School Edition, and a vast chorus, to tailor Jonathon Larson's bleak rock Bohème to his incredibly accomplished company, with musical direction by Kris Rawlinson.

And that chorus, including some really young performers, is one of the strengths of the production, always inventively used, with lighting and grouping highlighting individuals and clusters. Sleeping, sweeping across the stage, singing with raw energy, they were a forceful, vital presence in the story. And the big number – Seasons of Love – was impressively put over, with two amazing soloists soaring over the masses.

The many characters were given performances of maturity and style.
Sam Toland as the troubled rock guitarist, and Tara Divina as an aggressively sexy Mimi both caught the musical idiom nicely. Ollie Fox was outstanding as the "vagabond anarchist" – his relationship with Angel [a beautifully judged interpretation from Bart Lambert] was an island of tenderness in the "coarseness and noise" – his grieving solo, with the drag frock, was superb. Ashton Reed made Maureen a credible "performance artist" – her pretentious pastiche a joy – with the excellent Deanna Byron as her lawyer lover. Benny the landlord – torn between two worlds – was strongly sketched by Josh Butcher. The "witness" [Puccini's painter] who leads us through Alphabet City, was Luke Higgins, an engaging guide who confidently carried the narrative and sang powerfully, too.

A packed house, a great company in a performance which overcame huge challenges and some unfortunate technical issues. A stunning achievement for such a young cast: next year's challenge, another very grown-up musical, another Puccini plundering, Miss Saigon.

production photo: Louise Freeland


HORRORTORIO and other eccentricities
Writtle Singers at All Saints' Church

A parasol over the pulpit for an ironical look at summer from the ever-inventive Writtle Singers. They trooped in, with their beachwear and their brochures, to Cliff's Summer Holiday, and whisked us off on Toch's Geographical Fugue, reprised at journey's end with Thurrock substituted for Titicaca, and a detour to the Mountains of Chelmsford. These peaks form part of The Shifty Land, Six Nasty Songs about Essex, by local writers Martin Taylor and David Lee: stylishly sung, and wonderfully cynical – I loved the Southend Road and the dark domestic tragedy of Reg's Frinton retirement.
Along the way, neatly shoe-horned into the concept, attractive arrangements of Cats and G&S.

And then the invites arrived – the interval bracketed by Swinglish Mozart and Mendelssohn marriage music – for the weird wedding of Dracula's daughter – superbly sung and acted by Jenny Haxell – and the Son of Frankenstein: Joseph Horovitz's Handelian spoof, with a nod to Kipling, Sullivan and Cage. The key here is deadpan delivery, and the Singers, under Christine Gwynn with Caroline Finlay at the piano, played it for all it was worth. Elizabeth Tiplin sang the Poe narrator role, with Gavin Oddy hard to forget as the Dowager Duchess – all the frocks and the fascinators followed a black and red theme. A creative hand had tweaked this work, too, with an Olympic moment and an encore for Private Willis [Peter Quintrell] serenading the two-headed Coalition freak offspring of Miss D and Martin Mason's Young Frankenstein.


Essex Symphony Orchestra at Christ Church, Chelmsford

Jim Hutchon joined the dance ...

Dance was the order of the day at 59-year-old Essex Symphony’s latest offering. Waltzes, polkas and marches fell over each other in a spirited programme that also included exquisite harp solos from up and coming international harpist Melissa Kenny. Under the orchestra’s resident conductor, Tom Hammond, the highly disciplined band continued its progress towards ever greater harmonic balance.

Sibelius’ Valse Triste and selections from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker kicked off proceedings, with a series of familiar but challenging sequences.

The solo harp sequence started with Debussy’s Danse Sacrée and Danse Profane.The extraordinarily complex and intricate Fantasy on Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin tested both the soloist and the audience as this was no easy number. It was followed by a lyrical and flowing dance from Falla’s La Vida Breve.

The closing sequence really tested the Christ Church rafters, with Strauss the son’s Emperor Waltz, Leichtes Blut and the Thunder & Lightning Polka, followed up by Strauss the father’s Radetzky March. At that point, I had the distinct feeling that even this audience (of a certain age) was within an ace of taking to the aisles.

The sequence closed with Farnon’s calm and familiar Westminster Waltz to send the audience out into a wet and windy London Road.

Thursday, July 12, 2012


Essex Dance Theatre at Brentwood Theatre

The Brentwood arm of Essex Dance Theatre – no run-of-the-mill dance school – gave an impressive end-of-year showcase in Brentwood Theatre.
The small stage was well used, though clearly a larger space would have been easier for the dozens of dancers. I was impressed with the costumes, some thriftily recycled from past shows, and with the amazing variety of styles represented.

The younger performers were given just as much prominence: a cutely inventive Little Girls, teddy bears for tap, Kermit the frog [a superbly amusing routine, this; we critics at the back were delighted to hear Stadtler and Waldorf at the end] and gossamer scarves for Part Of Your World.

Ten fearless grisettes did an ambitious Galop, followed immediately by a riot of psychedelia for Austin Powers. I loved Kim Bradshaw's interpretation of Shine Your Shoes – a real production number – and her Charleston, with lovely flapper dresses and grey shoes. Rhiannon Munston-Hobbs, ex EDT student, contributed several numbers, including a brilliant That Man, to the music of Dutch jazz diva Caro Emerald. Kate Tozer choreographed a scintillating number to Leona Lewis's Collide, Jane Ben-Aderet a coolly classical piece to Bach, and a classy oriental number.

The finale saw the flappers joined by scores of Union Flags, jazz hands and exuberant bows to a well-deserved ovation.


at the Thaxted Festival

A hugely impressive performance from this youth choir – or rather choirs [Senior, Youth and Training] – well over a hundred voices, totally focused and tightly disciplined, singing, from memory, a generous selection of choral music from the Hebrew, African and American traditions, with, at the heart of it all, an assured performance of Bernstein's Chichester Psalms, with the treble solo wonderfully sung by Thomas and Max.

The church was packed with parents, friends and festival-goers; the largest turn-out by far this season. Among the many highlights were the hypnotic processional, an a cappella Steal Away, an inventive arrangement of Elijah Rock, the seductive harmonies of Give Me Jesus, and the rousing final encore, Bernstein again, Somewhere.

Percussion is an important part of Cantate's work, and we heard the inspirational Paolo Cimmino leading the young musicians in a group of pieces.

These are not mature voices, but unusually, they were able to sustain the lines successfully, and held the interest of the capacity audience.

By the time you read this they will have finished their season with a concert in Paris – and the good news is that they'll be back in Thaxted for Christmas.


Stondon Singers at the Church of St Peter and St Paul

This little church has seen countless changes in its nine centuries, many of them in the lifetime of William Byrd, who lived close by for the latter part of his life, but rarely ventured inside. Under the patronage of Lord Petre, this Catholic composer managed to survive the Reformation and happily composed both masses and Anglican anthems.

We heard both in this concert. The imitative polyphony of the Mass for Five Voices, the lower parts adding body and warmth to the sound, and O Lord Make Your Servant Elizabeth, written for the Virgin Queen. There was music from the "lost generation", between Tallis and Byrd, including a simple anthem by William Mundy; its Amen delivered with affecting simplicity.

After the interval – rum punch in the churchyard – a much wider range of music: Henry VIII's greatest hit, with tambourine obbligato from the Singers' conductor Christopher Tinker, and the very different sound worlds of Italian madrigals and five colourful, energetic songs by Kodaly.

A typically impressive evening of choral music from the Stondon Singers, with two bonuses: an organ Pavan by Byrd [Tinker again] on the charmingly voiced instrument, and a delightful extract from Henry Reed's Streets of Pompeii, first heard on radio sixty years ago.


Shakespeare's Globe on tour at the Fellows' Garden, King's College, Cambridge

Saw this lovely little Hamlet in Corpus last year. Now it's back on the road with a new cast; I saw it at the Globe, when the space and the audience always seem to bring the best out of the touring companies. But decided to catch it in the wild again – another Cambridge garden, this time the vast acreage of the Fellows' Garden at King's, over the road from the college itself.

The stoical players braved the heavy shower which greeted the start of the show – it's been wet and windy at every date so far, apparently.

Michael Benz makes an amazing Hamlet. Intelligent, but clearly disturbed, his way with the text combines clarity, insight and emotion. He's joined by Miranda Foster as his mother [and a great gravedigger's apprentice] and Dickon Tyrrell as his various fathers.
Ophelia was touchingly done, and beautifully spoken, by Carlyss Peer, who like the rest, dutifully and skilfully doubled many other minor characters. I was especially moved by the moment when she tenderly gathered up her own corpse in her arms. Similar resurrections at the end, before the lively jig – the stage much dryer by now – and off to Oxford …

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


ENO at the Coliseum

"Well that was bizarre …" as we made our way out onto St Martin's Lane. Couldn't argue.
This "English Opera" from Albarn and Norris, first seen in Manchester last year, has just ended its modest, not well-attended, run at the Coliseum.

As a piece of music theatre, I felt  it succeeded better with the spectacle and the stagecraft than it did with the score. Albarn himself plays a kind of troubadour narrator, and his band – period instruments very much in evidence – is on a stage platform lift. And in the pit, the orchestra with Stephen Higgins. The music is generally easy on the ear, without being memorable or particular apposite. Sometimes, we get a lively repetitive rhythm going – Nothing Is Unlawful – which could almost be Philip Glass. And there is some fine singing – though everyone seems to be amplified – notably from Steven Page's Walsingham and Christopher Robson as the charlatan scryer Kelley. But much of the text is inaudible, and without surtitles, the subtleties of the story largely passed me by. And I'm afraid that, for me, Albarn's voice tends to drag the mystical down to the mundane.

But the spectacle is often memorable – animated projections of geometry and astrology, not unlike Prospero's Books, the masque of the Virgin Queen, the column of sand pouring onto Paul Hilton's dark, sinister Dee at the end of Act One, the ravens who fly down onto the stage at the beginning and the end, the Horrible Histories procession prologue, and especially the books – the young Dee discovers his thirst for knowledge early, and the pages move around ceaselessly, for scene changes and more projection, and leaves flutter down to carpet the stage. All beautifully done. But very bizarre.


understudy run at the Harold Pinter Theatre
production photograph: Johan Persson

Near the end of its time at what used to be the Comedy, this superb Chichester transfer gave its understudies a chance to show what they could do with Hare's brave new play and Rattigan's famous old favourite.

And good for us to see how much of the rapturous reception given to South Downs was due to the performance and how much to the writing.

The design for this proscenium version has a wooden tab curtain, done up like an Honours Board. And heavy wooden structure for the school, a massive crucifix suspended above the action.

Some of the regular cast were still in post – Bradley Hall's strange Jenkins, even more peculiar than I remember down in Sussex, and Andrew Woodall as the sarcastic bruiser of an English master. The bright scholarship boy, unable to dissemble, adept at asking awkward questions, was beautifully done by Tom Spink, who normally gets to play Gunter. His martyred look was absolutely believable, the key scene at the tea table was beautifully done, though I found it hard to believe Emma Thornett as an old-style West End actress. His House Prefect was Rob Heaps, normally the new teacher come to replace the defeated Crock in the Rattigan. Excellent here, if slightly old, with more than a hint of Rupert Everett in Another Country.

The chaplain – a much deeper, rounder character than Spear – was movingly done by Mark Elstob. Nervously moving his lips, coming close to confessing his "thing of darkness" he gave a memorable performance here, and after the interval in The Browning Version, with Bradley Hall an interesting Taplow, Heaps as the dashing young science teacher, lover of Emma Thornett's toxic Mrs Crocker-Harris. And in a neat symmetry, Jonathan Bailey, normally the House Prefect, played the new classics teacher.

I reviewed the Hare, together with Nijinsky, last year in Chichester, and I shall catch this memorable double bill once more, in its final week. It will be good to see the original cast again, but no-one could feel short-changed or dissatisfied with this impressive one-off reworking.

Thursday, July 05, 2012


Jairo Barrull at the Civic Theatre

Making his UK début here, Jairo Barrull, steeped in flamenco tradition, and his four musicians.

Nothing touristy or quaint about these guys: you feel you are getting echt-flamenco, just as if you were in Frontera country. Few concessions to the uninitiated, either. No introductions, no clues as to what the songs might be about.

We began with a guitar meditation from the excellent Eugenio Iglesias [his solo at the end of the first part was amazing, too, hypnotic enchantment from a master I could happily have heard in recital], joined by a voice, with hand gestures, clapping, and finally, with a flash of patent leather and a clack of cuban heels, footwork from bailaor Barrull himself. Percussive, expressive, often flamboyant but sometimes just a flutter, this was some of the most virtuosic dancing I've seen in any genre.

There was some fine singing, too, especially from the rich, passionate voice of Manuel Moreno Carrasco.

Much too soon for the noisily appreciative audience, we were into the Fin de Fiesta [The Party's Over], as the five men in black
step out from behind their microphones and their monitors, and give us the pure unplugged soul of Spain, before ambling off into the wings.

Monday, July 02, 2012


at the Cambridge Arts Theatre

It was only ever a slight piece – an improbable tale made into an old-fashioned film, lifted from mediocrity by music, landscape and two movingly subtle central performances.

Almost all of this is missing in Shaun McKenna's adaptation of Charles Dance's screenplay. Some of Nigel Hess's music survives. Liz Ashcroft's set is a wonder of compact invention: rocky Cornish sea-shore, parlour, bedroom, garden all shoe-horned onto a small stage. But it often seems cramped, with sightlines and blocking occasionally an issue.

Hayley Mills and Belinda Lang are charming and convincing as the spinster sisters, living in the shadow of war, whose sibling rivalry is a key element of the drama. But they lack charisma, Mills in particular delivers her lines beautifully but with little subtlety. Compared, say, with Abigail Thaw's rounded character as the bohemian artist Olga.

Good character support from Robert Duncan, a country doctor in the Robert Hardy mould, and Carol Mcready, wringing every ounce of rustic comedy from Dorcas, the housekeeper. Robert Rees was the young Polish violinist, shipwrecked on his way to the New World. Perfectly acceptable, but in the age of actor/musicians it seems a shame not to cast someone who could actually play the instrument.

Production values elsewhere were high, and Robin Lefevre's production had some lovely, poignant moments – opening and closing with concerts on the wireless, though I suspect that had I been able to see the fiddler above the roof I should have found it a little cheesy …