I have to admit that Fiddler on the Roof is not a particular favourite show of mine.
There are some very good musical numbers, but the story is rather ‘dark’. But Lichfield Operatic Society’s production at the Garrick this week brightened the darkness with lots of humour – without detracting from the rather oppressive story line.
Production Director Lynne Hill cast James Pugh in the lead role of Tevye – a role which one wouldn’t think suitable for the society’s undisputed ‘king of comedy’. But her belief that the story could have humour, and that James would pull it off, was more than justified.
He was simply superb. An absolutely brilliant performance.
It was good to see Julie Mallaband in a lead role again – as Golde, Tevye’s wife. A strong performance which more than matched that of James.
Deborah Middleton as the matchmaker, Yente, was also excellent – her scenes where she spread the gossip around the village were a delight to watch.
Fine performances also came from Avril McCarthy, Jess Long, Ava Taroni, Hattie Rumsey and Lucy Foley as the daughters who needed to find husbands. And the excellence continued with Dan Anketell, Chris Buckle and Luke Bryan, the ‘unsuitable’ suitors who later married the three eldest daughters.
A large cast consisting of society members, members of the Youth Theatre and Theatrics, brought the whole show together and helped provide us with a wonderful evening’s entertainment.
Congratulations to Lynne Hill, assistant director Jordan Adams, musical director Ruairi Edwards, choreographer Charlotte Middleton and dance captain Natalie Haslam.
The backstage crews and the orchestra were, as usual, first rate.
Their next production will be The King and I in April.