Gremlins struck twice at the sound system on Monday's first night, adding 15 minutes to the performance.
Given Malvern's preference for an 8pm start, this resulted in a ludicrous finishing time of 11.15pm. What that suggests straight away is that this show is too long. Fiddler on the Roof may be a classic, but it's not King Lear.
On the other hand, it is at least a case of having too much of a good thing. Apart from its two best-known songs I've managed to avoid Sheldon Harnick and Jerry Bock's musical until now, and it came as a refreshing surprise.
Based on Sholem Aleichem's short stories about Jewish village life in pre-Revolutionary Russia, its roots in Jewish music and dance give it a distinctive flavour which places it apart from musical-theatre cliché, and with a surprising lack of sentimentality it skillfully strikes a balance between picturesque comedy and the incipient tragedy of pogroms which will eventually hit the village.
Its final image of the family trudging doggedly into snowy exile is far removed from Broadway whimsy - even though, ironically, George Gershwin came from just this kind of background.
What is particularly appealing about this production is its elegant understatement. Time and place are evoked in Charles Camm's minimalist and almost monochromatic design in a muted range of black and blue-grey, and the dance episodes, though sparing, burst brilliantly into life.
Joe McGann cuts a more realistic figure as the central character, the milkman Tevye, than the sprucer Topol in photographs of the original production. He sings and acts his way with appropriately glum wit and stoicism through the soft rebellion of his daughters which precedes the more traumatic upheavals to come.
Carrie Ellis also brings a lot of personality to his wife Golde, and the ensemble as a whole is consistently good.
An excellent band, featuring full-on klezmer clarinet, also contributes to the success of the production, revealing such musical craftsmanship from Harnick and Bock that it seems surprising they never found the recipe for another big hit.
* Running time: Three hours. Until Saturday (also at the Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham Tue-Sat next week and Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton Sep 23-27).