Fiddler on the Roof is not a stereotypical Broadway musical; it captures the uncertainty of shtetl life in early 20th century Russia, the tenacity of the inhabitants and the liveliness of their festivities.
This St Annes Parish Operatic Society production is generally very effective in conveying these varied elements, using a simple versatile set and choreography fitting the haunting music of Chris Andrew’s orchestra.
Leading characters are well cast. Gavin Tyrell excellently captures Tevye’s wry humour, his faith and his relationship with his family. His strong musical and acting skills encompass both the well-known ‘If I Was A Rich Man’ and the lyrical passages of ‘Do You Love Me?’
In Paula Curtis’ portrayal of his wife, Golde, acerbic wit and tenderness are well blended and they are excellent foils for one another. Their three daughters are very pleasingly sung and acted by Danielle Wrench (Tzeitel), Ciara Cutis (Hodel) and Sophie Morrison (Chava). Hodel’s ‘Far from the Home I Love’ is particularly moving.
Their menfolk, Motel (Andrew Would), Perchik (Daren Skelly) and Fyedka (Lloyd Mitchell) all make the most of their opportunities.
Director Alison Thornton creates some lovely stage pictures and some effective moments, like the exit of the exiled villagers, neatly conveying the mood shifts from the calm Sabbath prayer to the lively wedding festivities and the final sense of loss. It was dedicated to a longstanding member, Lynne Millar. She would be pleased.