Fiddler on the Roof

Date 15th March 2018
Society Basingstoke Amateur Operatic Society
Venue The Haymarket Theatre, Basingstoke
Type of Production Musical
Director Richard Cox
Musical Director Trevor Defferd
Choreographer Julie Morris

Report

Author: Chris Horton

FIDDLER on the Roof is the everlastingly popular and bittersweet musical full of melodies, Jewish love songs and dances, larger than life characters and it’s packed with emotion, humour, warmth and honesty.  It is set in the small Jewish village of Anatevka in Russia and follows Tevye and his family. The community is on the brink of change.  Tevye and his wife Golde are looking to settle their five daughters in marriages and cling to tradition. But the younger generation seek to embrace the change – social and political upheaval - that is on its way.  And the daughters want to marry for love despite the consequences.   

The set: village scene, Tevye’s home, station, etc were effectively created and of high quality and cleverly designed.  There was minimal disruption during the scene changes which were done with musical accompaniment from the Band. There were piles of suitcases on the stage throughout, packed and ready for the pogram at the climax of the show.

The costumes were excellent, with great attention to detail and were in keeping with the characters and story.

The lighting was effective and non-intrusive.  The sound was excellent with voices clear and blended well with the live music. Some of the cast attempted Russian accents, Raymond Burton and Kathy May-Miller, were particularly successful. Sound quality generally was very good with the occasional glitch and drop in volume. 

Director, Richard Cox, demonstrated his experience and talent as he drew great performances from this cast, half of which had not appeared on stage before. The music, led by Trevor Defferd, created a solid sound giving the cast superb lead. Raymond Burton as Tevye was warm and touching, especially singing “If I were a rich man” – as if talking to god.  He was equally matched by the excellence of Kathy May-Miller as his long-suffering wife, Golde. There were many memorable moments: one of my favourites being the bottle routine at the wedding. The entire cast worked well as a team, they were well-rehearsed and some perfectly timed elements made all the difference to this first-class production. Congratulations to the Production Team, (the necessary backbone for any production) whose hard work, in this instance, led to the polished show we have come to expect from BAOS.