Directed by Everyman and Playhouse Associate Director Charlotte Gwinner, A View From The Bridge opens the new season at Liverpool Playhouse. The Arthur Miller play features Lloyd Hutchinson as Eddie Carbone and Julia Ford as his wife Beatrice. Ashley Manning reviews…
I was unsure as to how successfully director, Charlotte Gwinner, would present this classic play from the 1950’s to a modern English audience at the Playhouse, but I was thoroughly impressed. Set in the labouring community of the Docklands in Brooklyn, Arthur Miller’s, A View from the Bridge is a story of both family and social politics.
Eddie and Beatrice take care of their orphaned niece Katherine who is gradually coming of age in what appears to be a normal and peaceful household. But one day, Beatrice’s Italian cousins arrive over the border as illegal immigrants to try and find work. Predictably, the young niece falls for one of these men and the comedy from the beginning soon morphs into a serious tone as dark issues begin to surface.
The scenery, which never changed from the confinements of a typical American dining room with family photos covering the walls and a record player propped on top of the side cabinet, gave a simplistic backdrop for a story of hidden complexity.
The acting was simply excellent with strong New York and Italian accents running through. Although all the cast performed well respectively, credit must be given especially to Lloyd Hutchinson whose performance of the over protective uncle was both moving and convincing.
This play explores the taboo of family love which borders on incest. It also looks at the prejudices faced by immigrants entering America which threatened the American Dream and offered a whole new sense of community and acceptance. There were moments which had the audience gasping in shock and moments that had us close to tears.
This isn’t a play exploding with action or visual effects, but rather it’s a play of quality acting and writing which brings to the surface uncomfortable issues in a stimulating and gripping manner and I’d highly recommend it.
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