THE Jigsaw Players put together a superb staging of classic musical Fiddler on the Roof at Droitwich Spa High School’s studio theatre.
The story is set in Imperial Russia in 1905 and is based around Tevye, The Dairyman and his family and his attempts to maintain his Jewish religious and cultural beliefs as outside influences encroach upon the family’s lives.
There were some wonderful performances on the evening but Tam Weir, as the brow-beaten Tevye, simply stole the show. It said in the programme notes he had wanted to play the part for a long time and watching him on the stage you could see why. He made the role his own, putting in a breath-taking performance – he had the audience foot-tapping with the production’s most well-known number If I Were a Rich Man and had them in hysterics throughout with his body language, facial expressions and perfectly timed lines. But he also brought down instant silences on the auditorium when he conveyed Tevye’s troubling times.
He was ably assisted by Catherine Tabberner who put in an excellent portrayal as fierce and feisty wife Goldie. She also got plenty of giggles from the crowd who, while admiring her, had a lot of sympathy with her husband.
The pick of the scenes was ‘The Dream’ where – with the pair of them in bed – the Tevye fabricated a dream supposedly involving Goldie’s grandmother to convince his wife that eldest daughter Tzeitel should marry Motel the Tailor and not wealthy – but old – butcher Lazar. As well as providing the biggest laugh out moments of the night, that scene was also the best of some quality choreography as ghostly figures engulfed the stage to show Tevye’s made-up vision.
The scenes before that were also very dramatic as Emily Gilday – another great performer – as Tzeitel begged her father to let her marry who she wanted. And, during and after that scene, John Broad was good as Motel the Taylor, particularly during his solo ‘Miracle of Miracles’.
Elsewhere, Luke Mclinden was solid as Perchik the student and Keren Broad did well as Hodel, the second eldest daughter.
But while this show had copious amounts of comedy, the thought-provoking social comment also struck you and will live long in the memory – particularly as it comes at a time when a real-life refugee crisis is taking place in some parts of the World.
During the final scenes when the Jewish community is broken up and the characters have to all leave their homes, the country and friendships they have had all their lives, you could hear a pin-drop.
Yes it provided an entertaining evening, but in equal measure, it leaves a lot of questions about our own attitudes to life and the society we live in.
The remaining shows take place tomorrow night (Saturday) at 7pm and at 4pm on Sunday (June 12).
For more information or to buy tickets, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call Su Fletcher on 07772 645722.