A View From The Bridge
2015 marks the Centenary of the birth of arguably America’s greatest playwright – Arthur Miller. Miller’s life and work is being commemorated with productions from London’s West End to the Royal Shakespeare Company, and later this month Miller’s great tragedy A View From the Bridge arrives at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre as part of a successful run mounted by the Touring Theatre Consortium.
Set in the dangerous and mysterious world of New York’s Brooklyn harbour in the 1950s, respected longshoreman Eddie Carbone lives with his wife and niece in a tight knit Italian community bound by strong moral codes of justice and honour. When Eddie and his wife welcome two cousins into their home, Marco and Rodolpho, recently arrived from Sicily, the balance of Eddie’s family relationships is dangerously rocked. As the young men seek work, wealth and security they find themselves in a threatening country shimmering with the mirage known as The American Dream.
A View From the Bridge is a thought provoking play questioning allegiance to community, family and the importance of reputation; the subject of dealing with illegal immigration has never felt more topical! If some of the actions drew gasps from a modern audience I can only imagine how shocking they were in the 1950’s. This production features a strong ensemble cast with Michael Brandon’s measured performance bringing authenticity to the role of Alfieri, although there is special commendation for television stalwart Jonathon Guy Lewis in the central role of Eddie whose powerful characterisation evokes empathy from the audience. Local Midlands actors are also engaged to add depth and character to the community and era.
The world of A View From the Bridge is brought to life by a magnificent set and meticulous attention to detail (the production designer must thank eBay!). A run down tenement building looms centrally on stage, and the ever present Brooklyn dockyards cast their shadow over proceedings as the tragedy unfolds. The impressive structure was manufactured by Birmingham Rep; the first time they have done so for a touring production that has not opened there. Overall director Stephen Unwin and his cast have given us a tense, emotional and gripping adaptation of Miller’s masterpiece and this production is highly recommended. A View From the Bridge can be seen at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre from 24 to 28th March. Tickets are available from: grandtheatre.co.uk/whats-on/drama/a-view-from-the-bridge