Fiddler on the Roof

Date 25th October 2012
Society The Welwyn Thalians
Venue Campas West Theatre
Type of Production Musical
Director Angela Dunham
Musical Director Peter Farrell
Choreographer Samantha Sayers, Tammy Wall, Alison Downes


Author: Vicki Avery

The notable and important thing about this production was the unmistakable bond that developed between stage and audience. In some of the more emotional moments, such as that when Tevye leaves Hodel at the railway station, the intensity of the bond was quite gripping. In fact from an acting point of view this was a good production. Tevye, (Peter Sayers) was first class, making the most of the humour, the confusion and his chats with God were beautifully executed. The five daughters worked well together with Tzeitel, Hodel and Chava complementing each other with their varied and personal, individual characteristics. Carefully matched with appropriate suitors there was a real feeling of a family involved in change. However, Amanda Sayers’ portrayal of Golde did not quite come across as the Jewish Matriarchal firecracker that I had expected and the characterization did not quite work for me. I particularly enjoyed Alison Mills-Barr’s portrayal of Yenta the matchmaker. Here we had excellent diction, controlled breathing, particularly in the longer speeches and good facial expression. Musically it all worked well, with good voices, though the lack of men was evident in the “To Life” number. Stage/pit balance was good but there were obvious problems with the lighting and some of the scene changes were a little slow. This had all the makings of great show but didn’t quite get there because of what can only be called lack of attention to detail: no prayer spoken at the Sabbath table, incorrect hand movements over the candles, wedding ring discrepancies, bottle missing in bottle dance and incorrect sewing machine. I know that this company can do better but on this occasion the technical side of the performance let them down. Thank you for greeting me on my arrival.