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Wednesday, 18 March 2015

A View from the Bridge review

In celebration of writer Arthur Miller’s century birthdate, Touring Consortium Theatre Company is putting on a performance that will definitely rock the boat.

Set in 1950s New York, A View From the Bridge is based in a mysterious Italian American neighbourhood, near the Brooklyn Bridge, where the life of  well respected longshoreman Eddie Carbone’s, played by London’s Burning actor Jonathan Guy Lewis, is turned upside down when two Italian cousins move in with him, his wife Beatrice and their orphaned niece, Catherine. At first it was smooth sailing but things take a drastic turn.


Known as one of Miller’s masterpieces, the play, directed by Stephen Unwin, will make you feel all kinds of emotions. From love, portrayed in Eddie’s care and affection for his family, sadness towards the end and laughter, from all the jokes and one-liners throughout. The production uses drama, such as sound effects and faint music to create this unsettling ambience.

 
Lewis’ performance is faultless as he draws you in with his love for his wife, portrayed by Doctor Who actress Teresa Banham and boarder line obsession with his niece, Catherine, played by Daisy Boulton. You feel a sense of protectiveness conveyed in Eddie’s and Catherine’s father/daughter kind of relationship as he wants her to be his little ‘baby girl’ still. All of the cast showcased their raw emotions and talents as they bounced off each other superbly.
Other cast member included Father Brown and Atlantis actor James Rastall and theatre actor Philip Cairns who played Rodolpho and his brother Marco respectively. Dempsey and Makepeace lead actor Michael Brandon, who played Dempsey also lend his acting talents as Alferi, a lawyer who is the narrator of the play. 
The piece also delves into topics such as homosexuality, an issue that was seen as controversial back then. Immigration was touched up in the play, how America’s society in the 50s perceived the topic and if they saw an illegal foreigner then they had to phone services. It made you think about society and how far, or little, it has come in America and the UK in terms of these issues.

The stage set
Like many other plays, it does has it flaws. The plot was hard to follow at times, with you wondering who is who and what is happening in this scene. The New York accents did need some work and it was difficult to know where the scene was taking place as all of them were on the stage at once. However, the laughter in the room and your focus on the characters relationships towards each other just had you hook, line and sinker.
The play is on from Tuesday 17th to Saturday 21st March at the Darlington Civic Theatre, click here for more information about tickets.

Click here to watch the trailer.
Until next time
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All photographs are my own!

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