Fiddler Logo

Music by Jerry Bock

Book by Joseph Stein

Lyrics by Sheldon Harnick

Based on the stories of Sholem Aleichem

 

NODA Review by Frank Wooles

In March, the Paget Rooms, Penarth became the Immigration Hall on Ellis Island, New York, Island of Tears, the gateway to America for millions of immigrants and the stark, grim setting for this tale of Tevye and his family. Dispossessed and refugees from the pogroms in Russia, he tells, in retrospect, of his struggle between family and tradition in a hostile, changing world, his acceptance of his humble role in life and his respectful familiarity with God.

Nick Pratt gave a fine performance as the gentle confused milkman Tevye, coloured with pathos, sensitivity and humour and beautifully singing the role. Lorna Welch played with maternal warmth and tolerance his wife Golde and found touching moments of gentle togetherness in her scenes with Tevye. Rhiannon Rose, Ciara Charnley and Ellie Hoare each found a well defined personality and individuality as Tevye's elder daughters Tzeital, Chava and Hodel, with attractive performances by Jo Howson and Emily Willis as youngest daughters Shprintze and Bielka. Richard Thomas was a perfect match for the role of the timorous tailor Motel, and plenty of revolutionary fire from Colin Davey as the student, Perchik. Kevin Morgan expertly played a grumbling, cantankerous rejected suitor, the butcher Lazar Woolf, and Cat Dafydd, an amusing meddlesome matchmaker, Yente.

Support roles were well covered with Claire Couldridge, a chilling grotesque Fruma Sara, Simon M Thomas (Peter, an American guard), Zoe Goodacre (Constable/Mrs Fitzpatrick) and Ruairidh MacLeod-Lyon as the Innkeeper, amongst the many interesting and colourful characters who populated Anatevka and the hall on Ellis Island.

A place of heartbreak and hope. Paul Buckle's bold and interesting approach brought out the dark side of this popular musical in a thought provoking and moving production which was well played and sung by cast and company, backed by a fine band which found a fresh interpretation in the familiar score under the baton of musical director Jo Herco. With Concept Players you can expect the unexpected and never cease to be surprised.

 

Originally published Autumn 2008 

 

Fruma Sarah

"...a thought provoking and moving production which was well played and sung by cast and company...With Concept Players you can expect the unexpected and never cease to be surprised."

NODA