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Review: Havering Music Makers return with rousing adaptation of Fiddler on the Roof

PUBLISHED: 12:20 21 July 2017 | UPDATED: 12:33 21 July 2017

Paula Harris Brett as Golde and Daryl Kane as Tevye. Picture: Ellie Hoskins

Paula Harris Brett as Golde and Daryl Kane as Tevye. Picture: Ellie Hoskins

Ellie Hoskins +44(0)7743306087 www.elliehoskins.com

A charming musical about life, love – and tradition – in a Russian Jewish community wowed on its opening night.

The Havering Music Makers are gearing up for their latest show, Fiddler on the Roof, to be performed at Queen's Theatre. Picture: Ellie Hoskins The Havering Music Makers are gearing up for their latest show, Fiddler on the Roof, to be performed at Queen's Theatre. Picture: Ellie Hoskins

The Havering Music Makers returned to Queen’s Theatre, Billet Lane, Hornchurch, with a cast of 50, for their first performance of Fiddler on the Roof.

The popular musical, set in 1905, tells the tale of poor milkman Tevye, his wife and their daughters, particularly the three oldest: Tzeitel, Hodel and Chava.

They live in a town called Anatevka, which is very keen on respecting customs, as the rousing opening number Tradition confirms.

But with the daughters growing up fast, they soon experience the throes of first love, in a time when the community believes marriages for girls are for advancement, not romance. Tevye is confronted with a series of different questions and choices, his dilemma echoed in some of the material he sings.

The Havering Music Makers are gearing up for their latest show, Fiddler on the Roof, to be performed at Queen's Theatre. Picture: Ellie Hoskins The Havering Music Makers are gearing up for their latest show, Fiddler on the Roof, to be performed at Queen's Theatre. Picture: Ellie Hoskins

The perfectly executed musical numbers are the beating heart of the show, with particular highlights If I Were a Rich Man (the tune will be familiar to Gwen Stefani fans), and the upbeat Matchmaker, Matchmaker, delivered with sincerity by Tzeitel, Hodel and Chava.

The comedic moments are top-notch, with many coming from larger-than-life Tevye, played wonderfully by Daryl Kane.

But Fiddler on the Roof is also underpinned by dark themes, including the persecution of Jewish people and the rising revolutionary feeling in Russia at the beginning of the 20th century.

The audience’s enjoyment was clear with the rapturous applause for the cast, and a standing ovation from some for Daryl.

The Havering Music Makers are gearing up for their latest show, Fiddler on the Roof, to be performed at Queen's Theatre. Picture: Ellie Hoskins The Havering Music Makers are gearing up for their latest show, Fiddler on the Roof, to be performed at Queen's Theatre. Picture: Ellie Hoskins

It’s common at Music Makers shows to hear theatregoers praising the professionalism of the society, and this time was no different. And it must be said that on this occasion there were some very young members on stage – the youngest six or seven – and they deserve praise for their hard work and enthusiastic performances.

Despite its bleaker moments, Fiddler on the Roof is a show to leave even the most reticent with beaming smiles.

The production continues at 7.30pm tonight (Friday) and tomorrow, with a matinee at 2.30pm tomorrow.

Call the box office on 01708 443333 or visit queens-theatre.co.uk.

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