The 25th anniversary of the Bacon Theatre was marked by a dazzling performance of the classic musical Fiddler on the Roof. Laurence Kilsby starred in the lead role of dairyman Tevye, stunning the audience with the excellence and apparent effortless of his now legendary voice, earning deservedly show-stopping ovations for “If I Were a Rich Man”.
There was strong support from a very funny Orlando Giannini as the elderly butcher Lazar Wolf, and Gweneth Stabler as Tevye’s wife bossy Golde. Tevye’s troublesome daughters, who confuse him with their modern ways, were delightfully played by Katie McCabe (Tzeitel), Beth Ellison (Hodel), Maddie Dunn (Chava), Gabriella Sills (Sphrintze), and Polina Kalashnikova (Bielke); and their love interests, the gentle Motel (Lewis Haywood), revolutionary Perchik (Guy Amos) and bookish Fyedka (Jack Coombs) were convincingly brought to life in scenes of great pathos and charm.
With fewer sequins and glitz than the average Broadway musical, Fiddler is a piece of great heart and soul: a musical for those who don’t like musicals. The hopefulness and optimism of the beautifully choreographed and humorous early scenes gradually faded to a sadder tone as the Russian military threatened the little Jewish community until they were forced to leave the village of Anatevka completely. As Tevye’s family and friends gathered on the road to elsewhere with their bundles, cases and carts, we were reminded that history is packed with the displaced looking for somewhere to call home; and that, although set over a century ago, the final tableau is one that will continue to resonate for years to come.
It was wonderful to be able to present a cheque for £2200, collected by the School at the recent performances of Fiddler on the Roof, to Rory’s Well, a charity that raises money to aid water supplies and farming in Sierra Leone.