A View from the Bridge
by Arthur Miller
Directed by Charlotte Gwinner
Presented by Liverpool Playhouse & Everyman
27 March - 19 April 2014
Photograph by Stephen Vaughan
This classic play, written in 1954, is still highly relevant today given
the extreme xenophobia prevalent around the world, directed towards immigrants,
whether they be legal or illegal newcomers to a country.
Set in the dock areas of Brooklyn, populated predominantly by working
class people, the industrial noise pounding away outside the theatre (renovation
work is being carried out at a building nearby) added unintended poignancy
to the impressive production by Playhouse Associate Director Charlotte
Gwinner, winner of the national Quercus Award, presented to a director
of outstanding promise.
If this is a measure of what she can create Gwinner is on a winner in
the world of theatre.
Longshoreman Eddie Carbone (a sterling performance by Lloyd Hutchinson),
with the persuasion of his wife Beatrice (Julia Ford), allows her two
Italian cousins Rodolpho (Andy Apollo) and Marco (Daniel Coonan), both
smuggled into the USA from Sicily, to stay at their home and work on the
But Eddie's amiable attitude towards them soon turns to displeasure,
particularly Rodolpho, when he starts to woo his adopted niece, virginal
17-year-old Cathy (Shannon Tarbet), who falls under his spell.
Eddie becomes increasingly bitter about their blossoming relationship,
displaying emotions of anger, jealousy (Eddie's affections for Cathy are
not entirely reputable), and the impending loss of seeing her leave the
Eddie utters on two or three occasions "No one gives me respect",
but he has little respect for himself, set in his ways and leading a life
of little scope or ambition.
Like a lover spurned for someone else, he cries out "Who is this
guy?", in reference to Rodolpho, ridiculing him for his multi-faceted
skills, including his singing prowess on the boats and, most annoyingly
to Eddie, his dress making flair.
Eddie who has lost his sexual attraction for Beatrice (the reverse is
also probably true), becomes disillusioned with his refusal to let Cathy
become a young woman and venture forth in life.
He becomes increasingly estranged from his family and friends, as well
as his lawyer cum confidant Alfieri (Bruse Alexander) - who is the narrator
of the story - losing sense of who he is and what he stood for, is dealt
an untimely blow but not at the hands of who you might suspect.