Political society

Tipperary Musical Society presents a magnificent show Fiddler on the Roof – Photo 1 of 4

TMS chose Fiddler On The Roof for their 40th anniversary show and what a celebration it was for a memorable week at the Simon Ryan Excel Theatre.
Director Paul Norton had a great feel for the piece, as evidenced by its many clever touches. The final uprooting scene, think Ukraine was particularly heartbreaking. It was gratifying to see how he involved all cast members of all ages.
MD Mary Rose McNally got a great piece of a beautiful 12 piece, always supportive and never overpowered.
It was lyrical in the quieter moments and loud in the hostel scene and the wedding dances with a lovely Slavic feel.
The choir was always involved and never performed. A strong declaration of identity in the tradition, frightening answers in the dream, talkative in the street intersections.
There was a rapturous spirituality in the Sabbath prayer and the sunrise, sunset with beautiful harmonies.
Perhaps a little more vocal coloring would have elevated Anatevka.
Derek Ryan exuded a mischievous charisma as Tevye with a bass-baritone voice to die for.
Her rich man was a stunt in itself. He showed fatherly warmth with his daughters and, well, caution with his wife Golde.
All in all, a well-judged and comprehensive histrionic portrait of this bucolic steppe philosopher.
It was a bonus to have in Deirdre Ryan a Golde with such natural acting charm and a ductile, lively singing voice. His Do You Love Me with Tevye was a melancholy delight. Mind you, she was not a shy violet and I don’t think she would ever die of such a man.
Sarah Gillman Gallahue was strong as Tzeitel, whether she was playing a crone-ish Yente (ironically this) in Matchmaker or making her heartfelt appeal to Papa. She looked radiant at her wedding.
Hodel (Emma Sunderland) showed great archery spirit with Perchik until her new dance changed an old custom and left her pretty pissed off.
She has a nice light touch and a clear musical voice that made her throat hurt with Far From The Home.
Muireann Slattery was an endearing Chava who shared her father’s love of books. His last call to Tevye was heartbreaking, but on this occasion there was to be no other hand. She also excelled in her eponymous ballet.
Sprintze (Mai O’ Donoghue) and Bielke (Fai Sexton) were brilliant as buttons in their responses to Perchik’s yellowish tutoring.
Siobhan O’ Donoghue was suitably talkative and talkative as Yente the Matchmaker.
A believable guy with a lot of swimming under the surface. Her grief at the love marriage was palpable. Certainly not one to suffer in silence.
James O’ Donovan was a low key motel and good for him. His coy appeal to Tevye for the hand of Tzeitel was hilarious and he was completely beside himself in the wonderfully rendered Miracle of Miracles.
Aidan O’ Connell was believable as Perchik, the restless doctrinaire Narodnik. He was strong on theories with Hodel but softened when she accepted his proposal (a political issue?).
He took the clumsy Now I got it all with some ease.
Cormac Maher as Fyedka had the charm and seriousness to turn Chava’s head. An excellent dancer as well.
Cathal O’Donoghue showed great talent on stage as the butcher Lazar Wolf, who was quite uncomfortable with Tevye when he asked for Tzeitel’s hand and delighted when the deal was done.
His To Life with Tevye had heaps of loud bravery. Her gift of chickens at the wedding couldn’t mask her outrage that it wasn’t her wedding but it should have been.
Jason Ryan has proven a Mordcha of character and has kept a good pace in the marriage.
Kiran Hickey has maxed out his role as a rabbi. This mischievous and knowledgeable pillar of the community had the villagers hanging on his every word. The old maxim has never been more applicable, nothing like a small game.
Aaron O’Donoghue was suitably reactionary as Mendel, the rabbi’s son.
Did well in the rumour.
As bookseller Avram, Conor Ryan delivered the news to the outside world clearly and brought the rumor mill to its chaotic confusion with some conviction.
As Grandma Tzeitel, Caroline Brahan paid great attention to detail and projected with admirable clarity.
Miss Cleary as Suspended Fruma Sarah was a veritable Hades harridan who spat out her curse with little vitriol.
David Hughes showed the necessary seriousness as a constable. He left us with the certainty that he would obey his orders regardless of his personal feelings.
Eimhin O’ Meara made an impact as a Russian tenor in the inn.
Ned Lonergan spoke clearly as Nachum. I really liked Fiona O’Connor as Shandel in her fiery defense of my boy’s motel.
Anna O’Brien had a beautiful, still alertness as Fiddler.
A special mention for Stephanie Browne’s choreography. The tradition was pure bliss. Later we had flailing Cossacks, galloping and noisy Jews, spooky specters whirling in the Dream, tense bottle dancers, just a pity to use plastic bottles attached to hats, lively revelers and a charming ballet by Chavalet.
The basic multifunctional set worked well overall, although Motel’s House was a little disappointing.
The props were appropriate with a nice cart for Tevye with churns and a mat bag for Yente to name but a few.
The wedding could have benefited from a few more tables and more food to also make the scene of destruction more dire.
SM Alma Quinn and her stage crew will have enjoyed the basic set and handled the scene transitions like cinematic fades.
The lighting was appropriate with precise lime work and good atmospheres created.
The ballet could perhaps have been more surreal and detached. The railway scene was most effective with snowfall. All in all, a well thought out lighting plot.
The sound was excellent with relevant effects, wind, train, etc.
Great attention to detail in the costumes, small floral prints for women’s blouses, prayer shawls and kippah caps for men all gave a warm, peasant feel.
TMS is rightly proud of its 40 years, a lot of water has flowed under the bridges of Arra but the talent and the tradition survive as evidenced by this memorable production.
Here comes the next 40 years!