Review: A production worthy of its name

View from the Bridge. Daisy Boulton (Catherine), Jonathan Guy Lewis (Eddie) and Teresa Banham (Beatrice)
View from the Bridge. Daisy Boulton (Catherine), Jonathan Guy Lewis (Eddie) and Teresa Banham (Beatrice)

A View from the Bridge, Belgrade Theatre, April 8-11

Testosterone fuelled, torn by desires he cannot acknowledge, Eddie Carbone (Jonathan Guy Lewis) is no great shakes as a man.

But in this, one of Arthur Miller’s greatest tragedies, we witness a good man brought low by incestuous feelings for his pretty niece Catherine (Daisy Boulton) and by his own jealousy and pride.

We know from the start it won’t end well, yet we watch, hooked on every word and gesture from this fine and dreadful man.

It is one hell of a part, and here it gets one hell of an actor.

He roars, he weeps, he throws himself again and again against the implacable wall of social opprobrium that insists that, whatever happens, a man does not betray his own kind.

Yet he is a traitor, and we feel for him.

This is America in the 1950s where Italian immigrants struggle to make a few dollars a day. Into Eddie’s household come two cousins, Marco (Philip Cairns) and Rodolpho (James Rastall), smuggled in from the old world hoping for a better life.

Most of the dockside community came in this way. But when Catherine falls for Rodolpho, whose feminine character and lively charm outrages Eddie’s conservative morals, there can only be trouble.

The play is as much about a clash of civilisations as a clash of desires.

As ever Arthur Miller puts his finger on its pulse, which is why he is one of the greatest playwrights of all time. This is a production worthy of his name.

Rating 10/10

By Nick le Mesurier