Teenager hopes to raise the roof In emo­tional mu­si­cal

Evening Express (City Final) - The Guide - - ARTS AND STAGE - By Scott Beg­bie

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.

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