Teenager hopes to raise the roof In emotional musical
HOW does a 16-yearold from Peterculter play a middle-aged man with five daughters? With enthusiasm – and a false beard – that’s how. Calum Ferguson is relishing the challenge of playing Tevye, the central character in Fiddler On The Roof, being staged this week by Phoenix Youth Theatre. And the young actor has been winning plaudits from audiences at the Aberdeen Arts Centre where the show’s run started on Tuesday and will end on Saturday. “I’m really enjoying playing Tevye. It’s a really big part and it’s a really good part as well, although the false beard is a bit itchy,” he said. “I suppose it was quite difficult to carry off playing a middle-aged man, but you just have to get into the character. “I just have to think of everything he has been through. He has so much weight on his shoulders. “He is poor, he has five daughters going away on their own path and with Russians trying to force out the Jews, he has a lot on his shoulders.” Calum knows some people might be surprised that such a young cast – they range in age from 11 to 16 – is tackling such a heavyweight production. “I know it’s unusual and there is a lot of emotion in it. But we are all really enjoying it,” said Cults Academy pupil Calum. He is well aware of what a massive hit the show has been – part of his research included watching the iconic film, starring Topol. “I went out and bought it when I got the part and I really enjoyed it.
“A lot of musicals aren’t so great on film, but this one is very good. “I am trying not to style myself too much on Topol, but I might a little bit. It is really hard not to because he filled the part so well.” While Calum is clearly relishing the show, what does he hope audiences will take away from it? “Hopefully we will have them laughing and crying the whole way through and have a really good experience. “There are a lot of really good musical numbers and a lot of emotional moments.” Of course, one of the big set pieces of Fiddler On The Roof is If I Were A Rich Man – and it’s Calum’s favourite moment. “I really enjoy doing that. It’s a fantastic song, it’s great to sing and has a lot of interesting moves too,” he said. Although Calum isn’t planning on a career in acting – “it’s too competitive” – he will keep it as a hobby. And he has one musical theatre part in mind that he’d really like to try. “I have always wanted to play Fagin,” he said. There’s clearly another false beard in Calum’s future.
HIT SHOW: From left, cast members Emma Main, Calum Ferguson and Jenna Bradford.