Fiddler on the Roof

Date 19th September 2014
Society Worthing Musical Theatre Company
Venue The Pavilion, Worthing
Type of Production Musical
Director Yvonne Chadwell
Musical Director James LeLean

Report

Author: Jose Harrison

The success of every show is dependent on all facets of the theatre world. The cast can act brilliantly but the show can be ruined by the lighting or the music or even the back stage crew. This production was superbly directed by Yvonne with so many good ideas that it started off in very capable hands.  She was ably assisted by James, the MD, who has totally mastered the art of controlling the volume of his orchestra whether it consists of six or twelve or more musicians.  The orchestration was a joy and one felt that the cast were truly supported by him enabling them to sing at their very best.  They were also in good hands with Matt Pike‘s lighting design which built a great atmosphere and allowed the very efficient stage crew to change the scenes without disrupting the flow of the show.  The costumes were excellent being so appropriate for the country and era and Brian Mercer did his usual good works with the sound system. Now we come to that all important and hard working cast.  Chris Shanks gave an outstanding performance as Tevye a part he has really made his own over the years but this time had unexpected support  from Sarah Milner, the fiddler, who not only played delightfully, she also remained on stage acting as his ‘soul mate’ showing great stage prescence.  Alison Booker, as Golde, is a regular with this society. We have frequently seen her great ability for comedy but she surprised me with her very moving and clever interpretation of the Jewish Mamma.  Her accent was very good as was that of Joan Kemish as The Matchmaker.  It is not possible to mention everybody individually but I must just include both Chelsea Love (Tzeitel) and Andrew Keeney (Motel) who both gave slightly different and unusual interpretations of their characters.  All the other principals performed well and the chorus of children, dancers, villagers and Russians put their heart and soul into this exceptional production from the very first moment with a really great opening number to the last curtain call.