Review Roundup: Young Vic's A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE
The great Arthur Miller confronts the American dream in the dark and passionate A View from the Bridge, featuring Mark Strong (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Sherlock Holmes) and Nicola Walker (Last Tango in Halifax, Spooks) at the Young Vic.
In Brooklyn, longshoreman Eddie Carbone welcomes his Sicilian cousins to the land of freedom. But when one of them falls for his beautiful niece, they discover that freedom comes at a price. Eddie's jealous mistrust exposes a deep, unspeakable secret - one that drives him to commit the ultimate betrayal.
Let's see what the critics had to say...
Michael Billington, Guardian: Mark Strong's Eddie combines physical weight with inner confusion and left me wondering if Eddie is attracted to the skittish Rodolfo as much as to his niece. Nicola Walker as Eddie's wife confirms that idea by playing her, excellently, as a woman nursing a long grievance about her exclusion from Eddie's sexual affections. There is also strong support from Michael Gould as the choric Alfieri now firmly integrated into the action, from Phoebe Fox as the innocently sensual Catherine, and Emun Elliot and Luke Norris as the Sicilians. It's a forceful production that offers a radical alternative to the conventional realistic approach to Miller's tale, without necessarily displacing it.
Paul Taylor, Independent: There's a homoerotic feel to the added after-work shower at the start and to Eddie's taunting boxing-bout with his rival, illegal immigrant Rodolpho (Luke Norris). Nicola Walker and Phoebe Fox are excellent as the wife and niece who suffer terribly from the protagonist's desperate refusal to see what is obvious. By the end, the audience is shaken by an overwhelming sense of catharsis. Unforgettable.
Charles Spencer, Daily Telegraph: This staging of A View from the Bridge (1956) is one of the most powerful productions of a Miller play I have ever seen. It breaks the surly bonds of naturalism and the conventions of the well-made play to create a work of seething intensity and savage beauty that grips the audience throughout its interval-free two-hour playing time. By the end you feel both emotionally drained and unexpectedly elated - the classic hallmarks of a great tragic production.
Henry Hitchings, Evening Standard: Ivo van Hove's account of this frequently revived Arthur Miller play is bruising and revelatory. It has a startling simplicity - a lean, muscular sense of forward movement and urgency. On a naked thrust stage hemmed in by a perspex wall, the drama's raw magnificence speaks with an unusual directness. The design is by Jan Versweyveld, who creates a forceful, potent impression of the characters being trapped. There's nothing to distract us from Miller's tragic vision of the costs and unanswerable influence of desire, with Tom Gibbons's sound discreetly ominous throughout, hinting at everyone's immersion in the rituals of Catholicism.
Michael Coveney, Whatsonstage: Arthur Miller had Greek tragedy in mind when he wrote A View from the Bridge (1955), based on a story a lawyer friend had told him about two illegal immigrants being shopped to the authorities by the uncle of a girl who had become engaged to one of them. That uncle becomes the rough-house longshoreman Eddie Carbone, fretting in the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge in Hoboken, New York, obsessed with his niece Catherine's attachment to one of the Sicilian brothers - she's "walking wavy" and her skirt's too short - while his wife, Beatrice, tries to stem his rising tide of jealousy.