This is the second Arthur Miller play I have encountered, in this, the centenary year of his birth, and Holy Moses! It’s another dark one.
This is a memory play from the mind of lawyer, Alfieri. Alfieri’s narration centres on the main character, Eddie Carbone, and he warns, early on, that life events around this man’s home life are destined to turn from bad to worse.
It’s 1930’s New York on the poor side of the city. Eddie and his niece, Catherine (Katie), the ‘apple of his eye’, have come together in the small confines of his meagre kitchen to catch up with their daily events as they always do. We meet a man who is hardworking and well intentioned, and, like the age-old familiar, and being Katie’s guardian he’s fiercely protective, but Katie is 17 now and so she’s not so little anymore!
Wife Bea’s family cousins, Marco and Rodolpho come for work on the docks, and to stay, and they are welcomed into the tight-knit Italian immigrant community; one that you can see if you stand on Brooklyn Bridge, hence the title.
Eddie’s possessive tendencies rocket when his unhealthy regard for Katie grows and he starts obsessing over her romantic links with the vibrant and attractive Rodolpho. He sees Rodolpho’s ways as being too ‘fanciful’ and he is suspicious of his intentions but there’s more in his mind; something much darker.
This is not unlike a Greek or Shakespearean tragedy because as Eddie’s world gets rocked and his controlling grip is loosened, he really is prepared to allow his jealousy, prejudices and insecurities rule. And to what cost? The national tour of this production is drawing to a close and whether you know the play well, or not, I urge that you engage with it if you can.
Directed by Stephen Unwin. A View from the Bridge is the fourth Touring Consortium Theatre Company production funded by the Arts Council of England‘s Strategic Touring Programme.
Cast includes: actor, writer and director Jonathan Guy Lewis (Eddie), and Michael Brandon (Alfieri) who has extensive stage and screen credits to his name. Also, Daisy Boulton (Catherine), Theresa Banham (Beatrice), Philip Cairns (Marco) and James Rastall (Rodolpho)
Reviewer: Debra Hall attended press night of A View from the Bridge at The Belgrade Theatre, Coventry on Wednesday 08 April 2015