Topol and Mear join Gigi in Open Air

Published April 17, 2008

Topol, the actor synonymous with the role of Tevye in Fiddler On The Roof, will star alongside the previously announced Lisa O’Hare and Millicent Martin in the Open Air theatre’s production of Gigi this summer. They will be joined by choreographer Stephen Mear for the al fresco venue’s annual musical production.

Israeli performer Topol first played the Jewish-Russian milkman Tevye on the London stage, performing at Her Majesty’s in 1967 before being cast in the Norman Jewison film version, for which he received a Golden Globe Award and an Oscar nomination. He is still playing the part on stage 40 years later. Far from being a one-role actor, Topol’s other cinematic outings include cult sci-fi hit Flash Gordon and Bond film For Your Eyes Only.

Choreographer Stephen Mear, who will be creating the show’s dance routines, is a Laurence Olivier Award winner, collecting the celebrated statuette for his work alongside Matthew Bourne on Mary Poppins. Mear has also previously worked on Disney’s Little Mermaid, Anything Goes, The Witches Of Eastwick, and English National Opera’s On The Town.

Gigi, which tells the story of a friendship between a young would-be courtesan and an eligible playboy, opens on 14 August following previews from 6 August. The Lerner and Loewe musical follows a Shakespearean season of Romeo And Juliet and Twelfth Night, which play alongside a children’s version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Public booking for the 2008 Open Air season opens on 11 February.

MA