Wednesday, April 17, 2013


Billericay Operatic Society at Brentwood Theatre

Tradition celebrated, challenged, overturned – that's the timeless story of Fiddler on the Roof. A canny banker for Billericay Operatic after last year's award-winning On The 20th Century.
An impressive stage design again, practical, solid and evocative, with plenty of space for bottle dancing, pogroms and all the other comings and goings in Anatevka.
This is very much Wayne Carpenter's show. Producer, director and Tevye the Milkman. A very likeable performance, sitting between the shafts of his cart, perched on a churn, forever bothering his God for favours great and small. Two of many choice moments are his domestic duet with Gail, his very own Golde, and the touching Chava sequence, as the last of his daughters [Jaz Cook] flies the nest. He has five in all – nice work from Alice Wesson's Tzeitel, who escapes Mark Clements' butcher to wed Kieran Hynes' poor tailor, and Georgia Redgwell's Hodel, who goes off with Perchik, confidently characterized by Matthew Carpenter.
On opening night the pace suffered from some slow scene changes, though there is welcome youthful energy in Miracle of Miracles, and eventually in Lo Chaim, good ensemble from a large company [some accents more convincing than others] in the Rumour number, Frume Sarah's scene, Sunrise Sunset. Telling stage pictures, too, not least the Evening Prayer, and the final moments, with the weary line of refugees and the Fiddler himself [Callum Johnson] hitching a lift on Tevye's cart.

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