Fiddler on the Roof, Alnwick Playhouse Youth Theatre, Tuesday and last night.
Even if I were a rich man, I can’t think of a finer way to spend an evening than at a Playhouse Youth Theatre production.
And they’ve done it again – another amazing performance, this time by the middle group.
It was hard to believe they were aged nine to 12 – every part was played with such confidence and style for ones so young. Fiddler on the Roof is a challenging musical, dealing with some big, important issues, not least of which the power of change against a community’s deep-seated traditions.
It is set in a Jewish village in Tsarist Russia in 1905. Milkman Tevye walks that tightrope between honouring heritage and bowing to his own soft centre, constantly battling with himself to do what is right for his five daughters and feisty wife.
Israeli actor Topol made the part of Tevye his own on stage and in film. It is a huge role and like his illustrious predecessor, Isaac Mills took ownership of it, doing Topol proud.
He was everything the character demanded – sensitive, measured, funny, eccentric and, wow, what an incredible singing voice to boot! Isaac was perfectly cast, the role was made for him.
His rendition of If I Were a Rich Man was awesome.
Alongside Isaac was Cerys Williams, as Tevye’s wife Golde, whose singing voice was equally impressive, beautiful and haunting. The pair shared some angry clashes, which made the tender, loving moments all the more poignant.
There were so many highlights. Cora Drummond and Eleanor Morris, as sisters Hodel and Chava, sang another of the hits, Matchmaker, Matchmaker, so well. It was captivating.
Megan Brown and Oscar Wilson were convincing as eldest Tzeitel and her suitor, Motel the tailor. The dream sequence, with Ella Paul as Grandma, was impressive, as was the marriage scene, including Sunrise, Sunset, which Isaac and Cerys absolutely smashed!
Maisie Fisher was assured as the Matchmaker. A special mention, too, for Billy Swan for his excellent Russian dance routine – he’s a real Billy Elliott in the making. I thoroughly enjoyed the evening – congratulations to director Cheryl Stewart, musical director Peter Brown, their teams and all the young thespians.