Fiddler on the roof

Date 23rd February 2018
Society Stage One 2000 Musical Youth Theatre
Venue Little Theatre Birkenhead
Type of Production Musical
Director Brenda Davies
Musical Director Sian James
Choreographer Allison Bentley-Jones


Author: Budge Grounsell


I would venture to say that having seen several of their productions that this was the best so far. Why? This was the first adult type show they have done for some time and demonstrated that whatever they turn their hand to they can be successful. The enemble singing which I have not often been aware of before was very good and a great credit to Musical Director Sian James as were the soloists. Brenda Davies is an experienced and clever Director making full use of her young cast. When you add Choreographer Allison Bentley Jones to the equation you have a formidable team indeed.

There is a feature in the programme called “Stage Whispers in which the cast get to say something about themselves. It not only gives their age which might be from 7 (or younger) to 17 but their reaction to participation in Stage 1 2000 which in some cases has been of quite long duration. The following comment sums up what these youngsters get from this experience… “Hello I’m ……..and I am socially inept. Stage 1 has helped me come out of my shell”.; If that is not a recommendation to anyone young or old then I don’t know what is.

Scarlet Dilworth as the eponymous “fiddler” started us off and appeared from time to time very much in keeping with her role and musically introducing us to Peter Dilworth who is 17, a splendid Tevye. Tevye is of course a middle aged man but Peter carried this off beautifully. His singing of both “If I were a rich man” and “Do you love me” was utterly believable and how well he caught the mood of this serio-comic character. He was well supported by Golde his wife played by Ruby Tuft who at times made you wonder who really was head of the house.

The story unravels through the actions of his three older daughters all of whom overcome tradition by marrying the men of their chosing instead of their fathers. Libby Bentley-Jones, Steph Fleetwood and Sophie Criddle characterised these somewhat recalcitrant siblings; their opening song “Matchmaker “ was enough to tell you that their respective roles were in good hands. Opoosite them were Motel (Callum Makin) Perchil (Cameron Bentley-Jones) and Fyedka (Daniel Buttery).

These gentlemen had three distinct personalities within the context of the story and brought each of them to the fore.

Mollie Blease a veteran of three years with Stage 1 played the elderly matchmaker very well considering her own lack of years and Ryan Williams was Lazar Wolf destined to marry Tzeitelbut sort of “left at the altar.” Tom Lee played the constable; Tom is a big lad perfect for this part.

Apart from the above there were principle roles featuring Mathew Hood, Rachel Murray,,Maisy Foulkes, Olivia Morrell, Scarlet Dilworth, Luke Rowe and in keeping with Russian tradition 2 “soldiers” Bella Bradley and Olivia Westcott and who doubled as “bottle” dancers. The bottle dance was very well executed by all who took part in it. Everyone played their part making their own particular contribution to the plot as did all the Villagers and Inn patrons.

There is a note in the programme saying that Fiddler is all about circles; Of life, trust, celebration and grief. Stage 1 have created a continuous circle which provides young people with an opportunity to grow in a creative and nurturing environment and its audience with a circle of enjoyment.

Congratulations to all, cast and backstage crew on this successful production. Budge