Fiddler on the Roof

Date 13th June 2013
Society Rock Ferry Amateur Operatic Society
Venue Gladstone Theatre, Port Sunlight
Type of Production Musical
Director Julie Whitehead
Musical Director Greg Williams
Choreographer Julie Whitehead


Author: Budge Grounsell

It’s over 25 years since I last saw “Fiddler”  but the reunion was worth while attending.   The opening number by Tevye and cast of Tradition was strong powerful and well sung, providing a foretaste of what was to come. A production team headed by Julie Whitehead (Director and Choreographer) and Greg Williams (Musical Director) is unlikely to disappoint their audiences  and they did not let us down.  Their  behind the scenes team gave them excellent support. There were a couple of occasions when some strange sounds emanated perhaps from overmodulation but apart from this,  excellent.

Fiddler needs a strong leading man and Barry Prescott  produced a fine performance; sang well  and showed great comedy timing  when it was needed. Binnie Williams (Goldie) gave us an excellent portrayal as his wife. Their duet “Do you love me” was particularly good  and so in character.  “Matchmaker”  is one of those songs which lingers even if you haven’t heard it for some time and  Tzeitel (Wendy Copeland) Hodel (Kate Yates) and Chava (Sarah Evans) certainly made the most of  this as well as maintaining the style of their character throughout  in song and  action..   The three men in their lives Motel (Rob Minjoot)  Perchik (Stuart Clay) and Fyedka (Jeremy Slater)  caught the mood of their different roles and made them really believable.

Add to the above many  strong supporting roles, e.g Yenta the Matchmaker (Sarah Jane Aston), Lazer Wolf  the Butcher (Tony Harrison), in fact it’s true to say that everyone  did a fine job in the realisation of their character.  Annabel  Partington-Smith and  Jessica Heron_Davis completed the quintet of  Tevye’s daughters and  fitted  their parts very well. The two small boys Brandon Walls  and Eliot Blakeborough  maintained their discipline and characters, not always easy to do.  The “Villagers performed their task admirably and sang well.  What of the fiddler (Billy Thompson)  well he can play on my roof anytime.

 If I had a small criticism it would be that the “wedding scene” was a little too long and the Russians not quite as rough as they might have been, but this is nitpicking in what was an first class show  Very well done to all on stage and off.