‘Reichlin gifts are shown to brilliant effect in this show,
with his sonorous voice and exquisite mime’
This solo show by Saul Reichlin, is devoted to Sholom Aleichem. Aleichem is the writer whose stories became ‘Fiddler on the Roof’. The stories are put together to form a narrative taking the audience on a journey of discovery about the writer and his stories based on his real-life return to his home town in Russia (now the Ukraine). The stories satirize the characters he meets on his way.
This faithful translation of Yiddish literature is beautifully portrayed in the hands of Saul Reichlin. Reichlin gifts are shown to brilliant effect in this show, with his sonorous voice and exquisite mime. Reichlin himself disappears behind the characters with just a few words to bring an image of them to mind and a little physical theatre to show their unique traits.
The set, costume and lighting manage to capture a dusty old-world effect, to take us back to pre-revolution Russia, to small town politics with harsh tactics for survival, and much humour. Two of the most memorable stories concern Aleichem purchasing socks he does not actually want. To purchase one pair is understandable but how he became the owner of quite so many pairs, is hilariously brought alive in Reichlin’s performance. The episode involving Tevye, the milkman, is truly poignant and how fascinating to see Reichlin’s interpretation of this much-loved character, the protagonist of the musical ‘Fiddler on the Roof’.
Saul Reichlin takes ownership of every character, moving with lightening speed between each one, he is a master storyteller. Reichlin is one of the major exponents of Aleichem’s literature. His last one-man show, also featuring the tales, toured world-wide to much critical acclaim. Here he is again, at 77 years of age, blasting back onto the stage with a synergy of energy and passion. With short pauses between each scene which are filled with evocative music, it is a tour de force. An unforgettable performance.
Editor’s Note: Read LPT magazine interview with Saul Reichlin here
SHOLOM ALEICHEM IN THE OLD COUNTRY
The Lion & Unicorn Theatre, Kentish Town, 30th October – 25th November 2018
Tuesday – Saturday 7.30pm / Sunday 3pm + 6pm
Reviewer Heather Jeffery is founder and Editor of London Pub Theatres Magazine www.londonpubtheatres.com @pubtheatres1 (Email: email@example.com)