Sunday, 8 March 2015

Theatre Review: A View from the Bridge

A couple of weeks ago I went to see The Young Vic's production of Arthur Miller's A View from the Bridge at the Wyndham's Theatre and I thought it was ace. If you fancy seeing some proper theatre that will leave you feeling emotionally drained in the best possible way, I think you'll like this!

I didn't know anything about the story beforehand, but it's set in 1950s Brooklyn where a longshoreman, Eddie, welcomes his cousins from Italy to stay as they try and make it in the land of the free. However, when one of them begins a relationship with Eddie's orphaned niece Catherine, it becomes apparent that Eddie is a bit too protective of her. His jealousy grows throughout the play, causing concern for the new couple and his wife Beatrice, until eventually his obsession with his niece is taken too far. Needless to say, it doesn't end well.

I love all of the literature from the American Dream period so naturally I really liked the actual script of this. (Can you tell I'm a literature student?)The play doesn't have an interval, it just continues for two hours straight. I think it's good that they do this though because it's so intense all the way through that I think it might lose momentum if they paused in the middle. There were so many bits where I felt like you could cut the tension with a knife! I was sitting in the stalls but they have seats actually on the stage for this production which I think would feel even more intense as you'd be so close. I thought all three main characters were fantastic but Mark Strong especially stood out as Eddie as he seemed so temperamental, like he might flip at any moment. His relationship with Catherine makes you feel pretty uncomfortable as for uncle and niece, he is a little too close for comfort. However, something about his performance makes you feel a little sorry for him too as he obviously cares about her and thinks he's doing what's best for her.

I don't want to give away the ending for people who haven't seen it but it was my favourite bit of the whole play. I will say that it involves water and is very symbolic, but I shan't say anything else!

It's going to be on at the Wyndham's Theatre until April so if there are any tickets left then I urge you to go and see it because it really is a great piece of proper theatre. If you haven't had or won't have the chance to see it, fear not because from the 26th March, National Theatre Live is broadcasting it out to certain cinemas so it's definitely worth seeing if it's coming anywhere near you. I wholeheartedly recommend!

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