Fiddler on the Roof

Date 1st September 2012
Society Helensburgh Savoy Club
Type of Production Musical
Director Gemma Davidson
Musical Director Pamela Frew

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This was a departure from previous years for the Savoy, with a new production team, a much reduced musical accompaniment and new cast members helping to make this a most entertaining and enjoyable production — if the storyline of deprivation and ethnic cleansing can be classed as enjoyable. Paul Lyden (Tevye) carried this huge rôle with gravitas and humour, as required. Jane Good (Golde) was an excellent feisty ‘Jewish Momma’, suddenly flustered when realising that she did love her husband after all. Kellymarie McColl Beggs (Yente) hid her youth behind her character well, and showed that matchmaking was a seriously funny occupation. Julia Irvine (Tzeitel) and Chip Charteris (Motel) portrayed the courage
required to break tradition admirably, with attendant bravado by Motel just right and causing a loud smile from the audience. The more serious Ben Brown (Perchik) and Carrie Morrison (Hodel) contrasted excellently, and Carrie’s singing of “Far from the home” excelled in an evening in which the two-keyboard, bass guitar and drums combo made easy-listening. The emotion expressed when Katherine Bull (Chava) was rejected for ever by Tevye when she left with Josh Rettie (Fyedka) was again in contrast with the other couples, but very well expressed. Stephen Alexander (Rabbi) and Graham Phillips (Lazar), both coming back to performing after ‘resting’, added to the motley collection of characters which made up the population of Anatevka, and another contrast came with Robert Gowling (Constable) whose clipped tones epitomised the ‘Soviet’ adversarial, couldn’t-care attitude which caused so much tragedy for those born to a faith which annoyed others with more power. I felt that this was a leap forward for the Savoy, in their progression from G&S shows started in 1984 through more modern shows since Millennium year, and considering the vast amount they have done for many charities, local and national in those years. All shows presented with skill and determination, but this was without doubt one of their best. Like so many NODA Societies, costs are meaning that economies must be looked at, or prices increased, or both, but if the passion and commitment shown by this club is typical, AmDram and AmMus will survive.