Review: ★★★★★ Hershey Felder: Our Great Tchaikovsky

We all know his name and we all know some of his music – even if we don’t know that we know it. It is likely that very few of us know as much about Tchaikovsky, though, as Hershey Felder portrays in Our Great Tchaikovsky. 

Award-winning actor and musician Hershey Felder created and directed last season’s sell-out hit, ‘The Pianist of Willesden Lane’ and has now returned direct from an acclaimed US Tour with his unique and moving blend of piano virtuosity and musical biography.

Felder’s fingers bounce of the Steinway Piano as if he has never found anything easier in his life. He plays in a way that convinces the audience that he is a true professional, which he clearly is in his own right. Even for a theatre as opposed to music fan, you couldn’t help but watch him play in awe.

Hershey Felder plays Tchaikovsky and everyone with whom he interacts with seamless ease. There is a strange balance between there being no breaking of the fourth wall but also being directly told a story as the audience, from the stage. It is a fine balance to strike but it was done incredibly well.

Not only does Hershey Felder perform a masterpiece – he has written one. Just as a topic is reaching the end of its natural course he moves on to another equally enchanting, amusing or surprising element. We learn fascinating things about Tchaikovsky during this production and it is wonderfully executed. From his Sexuality,

The production does not end with Tchaikovsky’s death, though – it gives a powerful insight into how little political and social views in Russia have changed as demonstrated by references to the 2014 winter olympic games, as well as being up front about the things we do not know about significant elements of Tchaikovsky’s life, and death.

This is not a play, nor is it a musical, but it is an exquisite piece of theatre.

Emma Betty
Emma Betty

Emma Betty is 28 and a nurse in Birmingham Children’s Hospital’s Paediatric Intensive Care Unit. Emma has the Les Miserables 10th Anniversary Soundtrack (On CD!) to blame for her love for Musical Theatre, which she found in her parents living room pretty much as soon as she was old enough to know what it was. She began combining her love for Theatre, the Internet and Writing while she was still at school, through various blogs and on social media. Having moved to London in 2013, she launched Upper Circle 4 years later. A couple of years on, she is delighted to have a small team and is so grateful to those helping Upper Circle to grow every day!

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