A View from the Bridge

Arthur Miller
Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh
(2011)

A View from the Bridge production photo

Arthur Miller's play goes right into heart of a family living in the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge, New York: with the revolving set the Lyceum takes the audience from impoverished street into the home of Eddie Carbone (Stanley Townsend), a Sicilian-American whose descent from strong family man to deluded and doomed forms the core of the play.

The production looks wonderful, the street, the simple well kept living room and, most of all, a very well cast group of actors. Townsend is a powerful force on stage, struggling to control his niece Catherine (Kirsty Mackay). Eddie's simple family set up with wife Beatrice (Kathryn Howden) is upset when Beatrice invites her cousins Marco (Richard Conlon) and Rodolpho (Gunnar Cauthery) to come to the US to find work.

Conlon and Cauthery really bring out the differences of dark strong Marco and vivacious blond Rodolpho. Cauthery creates a instantly likable character, singing, dancing and enlivening the conservative little household. Mackay's sweet all-American gal Catherine soon falls for him and thus begins Eddie's fall from grace.

There isn't a great deal to parts like Beatrice and Marco, but with actors like Howden and Conlon, they don't just fade into the background. Ultimately the play is all about Eddie Carbone and Townsend really delivers. His protagonist goes very astray, but in keeping with true tragedy you can still sympathise, because he keeps the character human and at every step you can understand whats going on.

As the lawyer/chorus Alfieri (Liam Brennan) says at the end, Eddie does show something of his true self and in this production you do get the feeling of really seeing inside this man and his family.

Ends 12 February

Reviewer: Seth Ewin