Balancing precariously, just like a Fiddler on the Roof, the lives and loves of a family at the time of a Russian revolution took centre stage in this stylish Largs Amateur Operatic Society production which opened to great acclaim last week.

With an opening song all about tradition, it seems somewhat appropriate that the local Operatic Society belted out this well loved anthem with charismatic vigour in its 64th annual production, and set the tone for a wonderful musical at Barrfields Theatre, which finished on Saturday evening.

And the local production group certainly pulled out all the stops and showed plenty of ambition as they once again performed the bittersweet tale surrounding the life of father Tevye the milkman, the poor, devout but humorous Jewish breadmaker of the family.

As Tevye and sharp tongued wife Golde prepare for the Sabbath, Yente the matchmaker arrives and reveals that Lazar Wolf, the wealthy butcher, a widower older than Tevye, has cast his eye on his eldest daughter Tzeitel. However, true love has a deciding factor in things as Tzeitel has already fallen for a poor tailor Motel Kamzoil.

Sticking with tradition seems to be the done thing with the Operatic Society as David Cameron reprised his role as Tevye from 12 years ago, having only just returned from the States at the weekend prior to the performance. He performed the famous tune "If I were a Rich Man" with gusto, and put in a towering performance from start to finish.

Largs Operatic president Janine Millward as Golde provided an excellent foil to Tevye as the 'remonstrative wife'. The hilarious bed dream sequence, with a specially set up bedroom for Tevye and Golde in the audience area, was one of the highlights as David Cameron in his night gown ran up and down the well-used stairs at the side of the stage, as Janine's Golde cowered under the covers!

There was more hilarity in the bar scene as Tevye hastily agrees for the local butcher Lazar Wolf, played by Jim MacPhie to good humorous effect, celebrate life with some classy Russian dancing, with the music gently building up to a crescendo of speed.

Jacquie Tait was superb in her role as Tevye's eldest daugther Tzeitel as romance blossomed with Motel played by Alan MacLean as the drama of true love unfolded. There were some terrific scenes, both funny and sad, throughout in a production which struck a very fine balance.

Radical student Perchik was played by Andrew Park, who had a strong stage persona and is an important linking character throughout. Perchik asks Tevye's second daughter Hodel, played by Inverkip actress Jennifer Kyle, to marry him as trouble is spreading throughout Russia amid political strife. Jennifer puts in a star turn as another romance blossoms as chaos descends around the war-torn Russian region.

With a strong political undercurrent throughout of communist times balanced against the pride and prejudices of early 19th century Russia, Largs Operatic Society have excelled yet again in a production which really brought out the best in all the performers.

This was a classy production from start to finish and a sure fire winner with audiences who voted with their feet, and their strong applause, at the end of a rapturous evening.

Special mention must be made, of course, to the musical accompaniment throughout, with Elmar Kennedy, the doyen of the Largs Amateur Operatic Society, leading the way as musical director with authority and a most elegant touch to proceedings. Producer Irene Cameron and the whole cast and production team should be very proud of their annual show which had plenty of heart, love and laughter from first minute to last.