2015 Fiddler

Book by Jerry Brook
lyrics by Sheldon Harnick
Book by Joseph Stein

at the Epsom Playhouse
Autumn 2015

Director - John Harries-Rees
Music Director - Martin Sargeson
Choreographer - Kathryn Peters

Cast List

Tevye, the milkman - Chris Evans
Golde, Tevye's wife - Monica Turnbull
Yente, the matchmaker - Julie Parker
Lazar Wolf, the butcher - Nic Ash
Tzeitel, Tevye's daughter - Emily Evans
Motel, the tailor - Rick Qureshi
Hodel, Tevye's daughter - Charlie Qureshi
Perchik, the student - Daniel Crego- Bustelo
Chava, Tevye's daughter - Hannah Wade
Fyedka, a Russian soldier - Louis Tait
Shprintze, Tevye's daughter - Jess Tuohy
Bielke, Tevye's daughter - Seraphina Palmer
The Constable - Keith Robertshaw
Mordcha, the innkeeper - Dilip Patel
Mendel, the Rabbi's son - Paul Featherstone
Fruma-Sarah, Lazar Wolf's first wife - Caron Robson
Grandma Tzeitel - Sandra Zeffman
Avram, the bookseller - Chris Haslett
The Rabbi - Len Martin
Nachum, the beggar - Anthony Black
Solo Russian - James Turnbull
The Fiddler - Alex Land
Shaindel, Motel's mother - Jill Howlett


Helen Ash, Rakan Harrison, John Hayman-Joyce, Louise Laithwaite, Art Palmer, Diana Springate, Linda Sutch, Ruby Massey, Imogen Wallis

Show Synopsis

As the show begins, Tevye, a Jewish milkman, tells of the customs in the little Russian town of Anatevka. It is 1905, and life here is as precarious as a fiddler on the roof, yet, through their traditions, the villagers endure.

At Tevye's house, his wife, Golde, and their five daughters prepare for Sabbath dinner when Yente, the town's matchmaker, arrives. She tells Golde she has a possible match for Tzeitel, their eldest daughter. The girls speculate about whom they will marry someday, but Tzeitel says they must take whomever Yente arranges for them. Ironically, she has already secretly pledged her love to Motel Kamzoil, a tailor, who has yet to find the courage to ask Tevye for her hand.

As Tevye makes his deliveries around town, he prays, asking what harm there would be if he were a rich man. He meets and takes a liking to Perchik, a student from Kiev, and offers to hire him as a tutor for his youngest two daughters.
When Tevye returns home, Golde informs him that he is to meet Lazar Wolf, a wealthy butcher who is Tevye's age, following the Sabbath meal to discuss a proposal. Tevye believes Lazar Wolf wants to buy his milk cow, but soon discovers the proposal is that of marriage to Tzeitel. Though Tevye is not very fond of Lazar Wolf, he agrees knowing that his daughter will never starve. They celebrate with others from the village at the local tavern. On his way home, the Russian constable stops Tevye and warns him of an upcoming "demonstration."

The following day, Tzeitel and Motel plead with Tevye to rethink her marriage arrangement to Lazar Wolf, and to consider Motel instead. Tevye eventually agrees but how to break this news to Golde? He creates a story where Golde's grandmother and Lazar Wolf's late wife, Fruma-Sarah, appear to him in a dream and threaten to curse Tzeitel if she marries Lazar Wolf. Golde believes this is a sign and agrees to the match. Tzeitel and Motel are married in a traditional Jewish wedding ceremony, which is unfortunately disrupted by the constable's "demonstration."

Meanwhile, Tevye's second daughter, Hodel, has fallen in love with Perchik. They break tradition by telling Tevye they love each other and will be married, asking only for his blessing and not his permission. This causes Tevye and Golde to contemplate their own marriage and love for each other after twenty-five years. Perchik promises to send for Hodel and leaves for Kiev to work for the revolution. He is arrested and sent to prison in Siberia. Hodel decides she must go to him, a decision that her father eventually supports.

Weeks pass, and Tevye's third daughter, Chava has fallen in love with a Russian soldier named Fyedka. She pleads with her father to be allowed to marry him; but marrying outside the Jewish faith is unacceptable to him, and he forbids her to see him again. The next day, Chava and Fyedka secretly elope, and Chava is disowned by her family.
The trouble continues as the Russian constable tells all the Jewish villagers they must pack up and leave Anatevka within three days. Everyone prepares to leave as they reminisce about their miserable little town that so many have called home for so long. Chava and Fyedka come to say goodbye and make peace. Tevye refuses to look at her, but has Tzeitel wish her well before they all depart, the fiddler playing as they exit.


Biog 1 John Harries-Rees, Director
John trained at the Rose Bruford College of Drama, specialising in production and direction. Teaching and lecturing in drama and theatre, and freelance directing, for the past 40 years, has provided many wonderful memories. The 160+ shows that he has directed, include 'Hello Dolly', 'Into the Woods', 'South Pacific', 'West Side Story', 'Hamlet', 'A Midsummer Night's Dream', 'Guys & Dolls', 'Merrily We Roll Along', 'Beauty and the Beast', 'Hairspray' and many, many more. His love of all styles of theatre has seen him directing opera, old time music hall, experimental improvisation-based drama, in addition to all his plays and musicals. John is delighted to be directing 'Fiddler on the Roof', his first production with ELOC, and he would like to pay tribute to the hard-working and talented company and production team, with whom he has been privileged to work.
Biog 2

Martin Sargeson, Musical Director
Martin is delighted to be back with ELOC for a second time, having MD'd another classic musical, 'Anything Goes', for them in 2010. Graduating from the University of Surrey in 2012, Martin now works as a musical director, children's MD, arranger and music librarian.

Since 2010, Martin has been musical director of YESOS Youth Musical Theatre based at the Harlequin Theatre in Redhill, where he has MD'd productions of 'Les Misérables' (School Edition), 'Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat', 'Seussical', 'Peter Pan' and 'The Wizard of Oz'. He is also currently involved with the upcoming productions of 'Sunset Boulevard' with Lyric Players and 'Children of Eden' with YESOS.

Biog 3

Kathryn Peters, Choreographer
Kathryn first joined ELOC in 2010 as Chastity in 'Anything Goes' and thoroughly loved working with the company. She then went on to be a dancer in 'Orpheus in the Underworld', appearing as a bee, a jellied eel, a schoolgirl and a whole matter of things in between! Kathryn then went on to complete her BA(Hons) in Dance at the University of Chichester and then returned in the autumn of 2014 to appear in ELOC's 'Lend Me A Tenor'. Kathryn is thrilled to be a part of 'Fiddler on the Roof' as a member of the production team this time and hopes that you all enjoy the show!

Biog 4Tevye - Chris Evans
In 1995, Chris, Monica (Golde) and Emily (Tzeitel), performed as a Russian family in ELOC's production of 'Chess'. Twenty years later, history has repeated itself in this production of 'Fiddler on The Roof'! Chris has been involved in amateur theatre from an early age and is really looking forward to playing the part of Tevye, the poor milkman. Having never played this character before, he has found the role to be challenging, but "on the other hand" has also found rehearsals to be extremely enjoyable. As a founder member of the company, he is now very proud to be President of such a talented group.
Biog 5Golde - Monica Turnbull
Monica certainly loves this show as this is the third time she has performed it. From Tzeitel, then Yente and now Golde! Monica got involved in Amateur Dramatics 20 years ago after singing with various bands and has played a number of roles. Favorites include, Dolly in 'Hello Dolly', Calamity in 'Calamity Jane', Miss Hannigan in 'Annie', Sally in 'Follies', Lady Jacqui in 'Me and My Girl', Reno Sweeney in 'Anything Goes', Sally Bowles in 'Cabaret', Sarah Brown in 'Guys & Dolls', Nickie in 'Sweet Charity', Svetlana in 'Chess', and Babe in 'The Pajama Game'. By day she teaches piano and looks after her three adorable children Imogen, James and Alfie.
Biog 6Tzeitel - Emily Evans
Emily's recent roles have included the Japanese geisha Yum Yum in 'The Mikado', the cockney Ann in 'Half A Sixpence' and the Irish 3rd class passenger Kate in 'Titanic – The Musical', and she is so excited now to be playing the young Russian daughter Tzeitel! She is pleased to be supported by such a great, talented cast and production team and would like to thank all those who made it possible to put this show on tonight, and also the audience who have come to support. Emily looks forward to sharing the stage with her dad Chris, who, in the show is also playing the role of her father...not many rehearsals required there!
Biog 7Hodel - Charlie Qureshi
Fiddler on the Roof is Charlie's 12th production with ELOC and she is thrilled to have been given the opportunity to play the part of Hodel. Previous shows with ELOC include playing Lucille in 'Parade', Young Phyllis in 'Follies' and Hope in 'Anything Goes'. Other shows include 'Copacabana', 'Kiss me Kate', 'Titanic - the Musical' and 'Lend Me A Tenor'. Charlie trained at Laine Theatre Arts graduating in 2004 with a diploma in Performing Arts. Charlie has had lots of fun rehearsing for 'Fiddler on the Roof' and hopes you enjoy the show.
Biog 8Chava - Hannah Wade
Hannah has loved the theatre and performing from a very early age. She was a keen member of Stagecoach Epsom and the Laird Acadamy of Dance where she has performed in many of their performances. Hannah's debut with ELOC was in the chorus of the spring performance 'Parade'. Her experience was so enjoyable she immediately auditioned for Chava! Hannah has loved rehearsals, she enjoys the lively music, the strong characters and story line. Chava is a daughter of a poor Jewish family who falls in love with a non-Jewish boy and then has to face the wrath of her father. Hannah hopes you enjoy the musical as much as she has enjoyed taking part in it.
Biog 10Motel - Rick Qureshi
Rick is delighted to be performing in his eighth ELOC show as Motel, Anatevka's very own tailor, in 'Fiddler on the Roof'! Rick has been performing in musicals for over ten years and his previous roles include Benny Southstreet in 'Guys & Dolls', Joe in 'Lend Me A Tenor', Britt Craig in 'Parade' (all ELOC), Paul in BANAOS' 'Kiss Me Kate' and Marius in CLFS' 'Les Misérables'. Rick always thought he was "tailor- made" for this role and hopes he doesn't have you in "stitches" during the wedding dance! Rick would like to thank all the cast and crew for making this such a fun show to be a part of, and as Treasurer of ELOC encourages you to buy as many programmes and raffle tickets as possible!
Biog 11Perchik - Daniel Crego-Bustelo
Daniel is 18 years old and currently studying at Coventry University where he is aspiring to achieve a degree in automotive engineering. He has been a keen participant in amateur dramatics for the last three years and this will be his fourth production with ELOC after performing in 'Die Fledermaus', 'Lend Me A Tenor' and 'Parade'. This is Daniel's first principal role for ELOC and he is very excited and looking forward to playing Perchik. He has enjoyed all the rehearsals very much and hopes that you will enjoy the show! His other interests include playing rugby, skiing and motorsport.
Biog 12Fyedka - Louis Tait
Louis is 18 years old and is currently studying Musical Theatre and Acting for Film at Chichester University and is very much so hoping to pursue a career in acting on both stage and screen. This is his first show for Epsom Light Opera Company and he is very excited by both the opportunity for experience and also fun. It is with this that he also hopes you, as an audience, enjoy the show as much as he does. He has very much enjoyed rehearsals as an opportunity to meet an array of new people and also let go and have a good time. Amongst acting of all kinds, Louis also is a keen Rugby player and American footballer.
Biog 13Yente - Julie Parker
Julie last appeared as Anna No 1 in ELOC's autumn production of 'Lend Me A Tenor' which was considered to be a somewhat glamorous role, so a complete change of character now in Yente, the matchmaker, as a gossiping old woman! As always, however, Julie has thoroughly enjoyed rehearsing and, having always loved 'Fiddler on the Roof', is thrilled to now be a part of this wonderful musical. She very much hopes you enjoy the show and thinks it is highly unlikely the audience will be able to stop themselves humming along to the all too familiar musical numbers! "Right? Of course, right!"
Biog 14Lazar Wolf - Nic Ash
Nic has been involved with choirs and musical theatre in the area for many years. A former "gentleman" of the Chapel Royal at Hampton Court Palace, he has been privileged to sing in many cathedrals around the country (13 at last count). Nic has been associated with ELOC since 1993 appearing in nearly 30 shows, often in principal roles - the most recent being Buddy in 'Follies' (2011), and he has directed a number of productions, the latest being 'Half a Sixpence' (2012). Recently retired, Nic is pleased to have re-joined the company for this production of 'Fiddler on the Roof'. Nic last grew a beard to play the Wazir in 'Kismet' (1997)...he is puzzled that his beard is a somewhat different colour this time!

Biog 9Sprintze - Jess Tuohy (Left)
Jess has thoroughly enjoyed being a part of her first theatre production for ELOC. She has found the story of 'Fiddler on the Roof' most intriguing and lovely. Cast members have been most welcoming and delightful to work with and she is excited to perform for you tonight!

Bielke - Seraphina Palmer (Right)
Seraphina is 10 and has shown a great interest in being on stage from an early age. While attending stage coach she always showed strength in her performance. She is a natural singer and dancer and is so pleased to be part of ELOC and playing Bielke in 'Fiddler on the Roof

Biog 15

The Rabbi, Mendel, Fruma-Sarah, Grandma Tzeitel, The Fiddler, The Constable, Solo Russian, Avram, Nachum, Mordcha
Len Martin, Paul Featherstone, Caron Robson, Sandra Zeffman, Alex Land, Keith Robertshaw, James Turnbull, Chris Haslett, Anthony Black, Dilip Patel

Promotional Photos - Charlotte Thompson and Debbie Carrick - click here

Dress Rehearsal Photos - Isaac Lo - click here

Dress Rehearsal Photos - Charlotte Thompson - click here

'Many congratulations to ELOC for an utterly SUPERB production of 'Fiddler On the Roof' this week...great, GREAT fun!' 'Well, ELOC has a reputation for fab choral singing and last night did not disappoint - I got goosebumps in some of those big numbers! Well done to all - a great show! Enjoy the rest of the run xx' 'Congratulations ELOC, fantastic show, your performance was such a high standard, I enjoyed every minute of it'
  'Many congratulations to you and all the cast of Fiddler. A splendid production and a great night for the audience'  
Promotional Video
Show Week Video

NODA Review - Jon Fox

This emotional and iconic show based on the anti-Jewish pogroms in turn-of the century Czarist Russia has become one of the greatest musicals ever.

The director sensibly worked with very basic sets, Tevye's wooden house being wheeled on and off as required and other minimalist sets as necessary. Tevye's milk cart, a station platform, a sewing machine on a table, among the furniture on stage. The background was of a neutral sky and upright flats left and right framed the action.

The bleakness of the stage was surely to represent the very few possessions owned by Tevye and Golda's family. Their most precious possession was, of course, the family itself and the historic traditions of the Jewish people in Anatevka. It is the story of the lives of simple, uncomplicated folk set in 1905 Russia during the early days of the revolution with its stark contrast set against the time honoured traditions and relatively peaceful lives of the Jews living in the village.

The central character is Tevye, the milkman who supplies the village with its milk and cheese. He speaks regularly to God, puzzled as to why he should be so poor rather than a "rich man". Chris Evans as Tevye dominated the stage throughout and showed his huge stage presence and a sonorous, rich baritone singing voice. Monica Turnbull as Golda, his wife of 25 years, scolded and fretted to wonderful effect. She reminded him that though he was the Papa, she was, at the very least, his equal. The heady mix of love and frustration between these two marvellous performers underpinned this wonderful show.

A host of other talented performers added their talents to those of Chris and Monica. Emily Evans as the eldest daughter Tzeitel, in love with the penniless tailor Motel (Rick Qureshi) were both outstanding. Their love duet "Miracles of Miracles" was haunting and powerful.

The second daughter Hodel - Charlie Qureshi - did really well and the poignant "Far from the home I Love" was an emotional moment. She played opposite Daniel Crego-Bustelo as Perchik, the student. Daniel grew into his part after a rather underplayed beginning slightly lacking in attack.

Hannah Wade, as the third daughter Chava, defying Tevye by marrying outside her faith gave a moving performance opposite defiant Russian soldier Fyedka - Louis Tait - both forced to defy her father.

Julie Parker was the archetypal busybody matchmaker Yente fluttering throughout the show to splendid effect.

Nic Ash enacted the butcher Lazar Wolf with confidence and assurance. His argument with Tevye at Tzeitel's wedding reminded me of two great stags locking horns - great theatre!

I greatly liked the dream sequence with marvellous cameos by both Caron Robson as Fruma-Sarah and also Sandra Zeffman as Grandma Tzeitel. The ghostly effects, lighting and costumes were extremely effective, though I thought the company's white half-face masks rather modern looking. Perhaps make-up would have given more realistic effect!

Keith Robertshaw brought just the right balance to the Constable, forced against his personal wishes to disrupt the wedding while avowing respect for Tevye and his peers. Len Martin was an amusing Rabbi played with a light touch.

The two younger daughters were prettily played by Jess Tuoha and Seraphina Palmer as Shprintze and Bielke respectively. Alex Land was the Fiddler on the roof, playing for real, a nice touch.

There was not a less than top class company scene from the opening "Tradition" to the closing exodus from "Anatevka"; the tingling "Sabbath Prayer", energetic "To Life", "Sunrise, Sunset", "Wedding Dance" - wonderful bottle dance included - "The Rumour", all totally realistic and extremely moving.

John Harries-Rees, the highly regarded and most experienced of directors had thoroughly understood this show. The emotion present throughout was skilfully heightened at every turn and the ending with the Fiddler in freeze was magical.

The music under Martin Sargeson was well handled and supportive, though a little too loud at points in the "Dream" sequence. Kathryn Peters choreographed the huge mixture of ages wonderfully well. Lighting designer Simon Banks added greatly to the success as too did sound under Richard Elliott. Costumes were good and realistic for the period.

All in all this was a top class show of which ELOC can be very proud.