FIDDLER ON THE ROOF
Produced Bridewell Theatre
Music by Jerry Bock
Lyrics by Sheldon Harnick
Book by Joseph Stein
Emily Barber - Mirala/Alexi
Jordan Bosher - Raziel
Beth Burrows - Malka/Vasily
Iain Carson - Rabbi/Fyedka
Nicholas Corre - Motel
Aiden Crawford - Perchick
Robyn Cunningham - Bielke
Edward Currie - Reb Mordcha
Christopher Earlie - Mendel
Harriet Ellis - Shprintze
Cordelia Farnworth - Hodel
Jasmine Gur - Golde
Katie Hall - Chava
Sarah Harris - Tzeitel
Charlie Hiett - Yussel
Nicholas Hockaday - Shalev
Thomas Isherwood - Lazar Wolf
Amy Kakoura - Rivka/Fruma-Sarah
Greg Link - Avram
RachelMcDermott - Galya
Matthew Nalton - Tevye
Matthew Newton - The Constable
Ahsleigh Owen - Yente
Eleanor Sanders - Ruchel/Sasha
Archie Sullivan - Noam
Melissa Taylor - Vardiya/Grandma Tzeitel
Tamsin Topolski - Shandel
Georgie Wadstein - Pelia
Caroline Leslie - Director
Steve Dummer - Musical Director
Lee Crowley - Choreographer
Laura Shimmen - Designer
Sally Ferguson - Lighting Designer
Dan Swana - Vocal Coach
Jeremy Walker - Vocal Coach
Patsy Burn - Accent Coach
Charlotte Hall - Company Stage Manager
Victoria Pritchard - Assistant Stage Manager
Jade Chamberlaine - Assistant Stage Manager
Anne-Marie Horton - Wardrobe Mistress
Emma Rowe - Wardrobe Assistant
Sophia Shillitoe - Wardrobe Assistant
Damien Ramsum - Head of Pastoral Care
Pascale Burgess - Pastoral Care
Liz Hamilton - Pastoral Care
Peter Holt - Pastoral Care
Frankie Durkin - Administrator
Sam Sargant - Administrator
Beryl Whyatt - Administrator
Harry De Voil - Flute
Ashley Cooper - Drums
Felix Cox - Clarinet
Richard Bramwell - Violin
Steve Dummer - Piano
“You've got to hand it to them... not only does the National Youth Music Theatre produce stars, they also put on some darn fine productions. We recently chatted to NYMT star Marc Pickering and much of his acting experience was credited to his time there. Now, a new production is in full swing - from what we've heard, you'd be mad to miss it.
Fiddler on the Roof is the latest NYMT musical to hit our eyes and ears and with director Caroline Leslie, (the new Artistic Director) calling the shots, it's bound to be a good 'un. Chances are, you've heard of the musical before. It's well-known and amongst the persecution, and poverty, there are a few good old favourite tunes such as the most well known numbers include ‘If I Were A Rich Man’, ‘Tradition’ and ‘Matchmaker, Matchmaker’.
The music is by Jerry Bock with lyrics by Sheldon Harnick and book by Joseph Stein. You'd best get snappy though... the show's run is at the Bridewell Theatre until Saturday 14 April. In this case, dawdling, fiddling and general tardiness is not advised. Who knows, with stars like Matt Lucas, Connie Fisher and Jude Law under their belt, you may well see a brand new heart-throb in the making.”
TheatreBuff, Seatwave.com, 11 April 2007
Anyone who can’t wait for the much-admired Sheffield Theatres production of this classic musical, which transfers to the West End next month, can get an interim fix from this less polished but appealing staging. Presented by the National Youth Music Theatre and directed by Caroline Leslie, it’s performed by a 28-strong company aged from 11 to 19, packed with nascent talent.
It’s undeniably a stretch for these young people to play the work’s key older characters, yet Joseph Stein’s book, with its blend of romance and domestic and political drama, offers a wealth of opportunities for colourful cameos, while the sweet simplicity of Sheldon Harnick’s lyrics and the lilt of Jerry Bock’s klezmer-inflected score put the cast’s vocals on impressive display.
Matthew Nalton is Tevye, the philosophical, impoverished dairyman scratching out a precarious living in a 1905 Russian shtetl threatened by pogroms, with five daughters to find husbands for and a formidable wife, Golde. Nalton has a nicely lugubrious, faintly equine quality, and is persuasively dreamy, doting, wily and despairing by turns. He could cut a little looser in the exuberant If I Were a Rich Man; and as Golde, the superb singer Jasmine Gur needs a little more lightness. But when they come together for the inverted love song Do I Love You? , in which both recognise the depth of their feelings after 25 years of arranged marriage, they are irresistibly affecting.
Other fine performances include Cordelia Farnworth as a graceful Hodel, and Ashleigh Owen as a clucking Yente, the matchmaker.
The singing on the whole is stronger than the acting, and the scenes demand more truth and detail. But it’s in the big company numbers that the production comes into its own. The opening Tradition bustles with vivid village life, enhanced by Lee Crowley’s vigorous, folksy choreography. And the final image of diaspora, as the residents of Anatevka, forced from their homes, take to the road as refugees, has considerable potency.
Sam Marlowe, The Times, 13 April 2007
Sam Marlowe, The Times, 13 April 2007
With the NYMT, the future of musical theatre is in good hands.
Fiddler is a powerful show, encompassing faith, family and the importance of tradition, set in the impoverished Jewish community of Anatevka, in pre-revolutionary Russia. The Bridewell’s simple set uses a number of screens behind which village life continues through the show.
This happens noticeably during the Sabbath Prayer where the community of Anatevka are visible, blessing their food, in their own rooms lit by candlelight and bowed in prayer. Such simplicity in staging continues through the show, befitting the poverty surrounding its characters’ daily lives.
For the National Youth Music Theatre, with a cast containing no-one older than 19, it could have been a challenge to produce something approaching realism, but a number of outstanding performances and a strong ensemble means this is never an issue. Matthew Nalton’s milkman Tevye (whose frequent conversations with God about his lame horse are full of humour), despite an occasionally shifting accent, is fine throughout, comically beleaguered yet devout. Jasmine Gur is memorable in her angry interpretation of his wife Golde.
Of Tevye’s 5 daughters, 3 are marriageable: Tzeitel, Hodel and Chava, played by Sarah Harris, Cordelia Farnworth and Katie Hall. All sing well together in ‘Matchmaker, Matchmaker’. However Farnworth also has the best song in the show,’ Far From The Home I Love’, delivering it with passion, a beautiful voice and the emotion this number demands.
Iain Carson inhabits his contrasting roles as the aged Rabbi and proud young Russian Fyedka with distinction. Ashleigh Owen is distinctive as Yente the Matchmaker, her aged gossip being every bit the crone the part demands.
The NYMT cast excel in the ensemble numbers, particularly the opening ‘Tradition’, ‘To Life’ and the outstanding dream sequence, where Tevye convinces his wife Golde, by making up an elaborate nightmare, that their eldest daughter should marry the man she loves and not the match arranged by Yente. It‘s an elaborate ensemble piece, filled with inventive choreography, making it a high spot of the show.
Geoff Ambler, Reviewsgate, 12 April 2007