Packed with gripping tension and cultural divides aplenty, Arthur Miller‘s hard hitting play about identity and masculinity pushes our protagonists deep into disgruntlement, and soon to be violence. If you wonder what it is like to allow jealousy to build up inside your physique, and the consequences of letting it spread, then this performance is truly for you.
Cast members transport audiences on a one way ticket to Brooklyn New York, a land of industry and the famous ‘American Dream’, but dreams can quickly become nightmares, which is where our plot is rapidly headed. Family man Eddie, his wife Beatrice and her sisters daughter Catherine live together in a reasonably decent apartment; food, shelter and the basics, but to newcomers from abroad this pleasant enough set up is a world of opportunity. Beatrice’s long lost cousins from Italy, Marco and Rodolpho, make it to the Brooklyn shipping yard ready for a change of lifestyle, and the will to change and improve their families’ lives back home. Guests for an overnight stay may prevent the seething hatred forming between the travellers and Eddie, however weeks turn into months and the day to day lifestyle of the family unit begins to crumble into chaos.
Nicholas Karimi’s portrayal of Eddie is impressive, with his flowing Southern accent and looming presence, immediately transporting you to the old style values of traditional America. Eddie’s underlying frustration is also played naturally and allows audiences to sense what deep rooted explosive charge could possibly ignite in Act 2. Supporting the action on stage is the clear cut performance by the play’s narrator Alfieri, played by Robert Pickavance, who sets the scene perfectly for one to feel barely in control on the edge of their seats. The fluidity of the simple set changes and industrial set pieces close you in tightly into the central living room of this family’s troubles, which Louis gives you breathing space from, only for a second.
Overall, a commendable and hard hitting production by Juliet Forster, who plays tribute to Miller through a classic interpretation of one of his most popular plays. Some lovely storytelling and searing drama makes this piece an immediate draw for all audience members, and is not for the faint hearted.
Review written by Luke Redhead.
A View From the Bridge is currently showing until Saturday 12th October 2019 at the York Theatre Royal. To find out more, visit here…