Royal Lyceum's A View From the Bridge full of fine performances
Tautly realised and powerful production of Arthur Miller play
A View From the Bridge is the fifth Arthur Miller play to be staged by the Royal Lyceum in as many years, and director John Dove’s passion for the American playwright comes through loud and clear in a tautly realised and powerful production. The director’s main focus here is the individual tragedy of Eddie Carbone, the Sicilian-American longshoreman, whose obsession with his niece Catherine leads him to betray her illegal immigrant suitor, with devastating consequences for Eddie’s standing in the community. Stanley Townsend is tremendous as Eddie, by turns tender, monstrous and finally pathetic.
There are many fine performances among the central ensemble, with Kirsty Mackay and Kathryn Howden compelling as the innocent but spirited Catherine and Eddie’s neglected wife Beatrice while Liam Brennan is quietly authoritative as the lawyer Alfieri, whose world-weary narration provides a sense of the wider implications of Eddie’s actions.
The only slight drawback is the scant emphasis given to the Brooklyn Sicilian-American community beyond Eddie’s immediate family and acquaintances. While we eventually absorb the terrible implications of Eddie’s betrayal of members of his own community, the emphasis here is squarely on the protagonist’s inarticulate emotional struggle. It remains a slick, engrossing production for that, with a climax that is quietly devastating.
Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh, until Sat 12 Feb