The lawyer Alfieri (Michael Gould) tells the story of Eddie Carbone (Mark Strong). Eddie is an Italian immigrant in the USA, a dockworker who lives for his wife Beatrice (Nicola Walker) and above all his 18-year-old niece Catherine (Phoebe Fox) of whom he’s fiercely protective. When Beatrice’s cousins Marco (Emun Elliott) and Rodolfo (Luke Norris) join them in the USA, Eddie eyes Rodolfo’s obvious interest in Catherine with a lot of suspicion and jealousy.
A View from the Bridge is not a fun play, but it is a good one and this production of it is really excellent, with a few minor things that I didn’t like so much.
This production had me from the very first second. And that had less to do with showering Mark Strong (although that certainly didn’t hurt) and more with Alfieri who was an intriguing narrator right from the start, with Michael Gould playing him to perfection. It is rare to get an empathic narrator and I really appreciated it that that was the case here.
If the rest of the cast had been worse, I would have regretted that there isn’t that much narration much more. But fortunately, the cast is generally really strong, with Mark Strong being an almost gravitational force on stage, but everybody else can hold their own, too. Phoebe Fox in particular had her work cut out for her to not completely disappear next to him, but she managed just fine.
The stage design was rather minimalistic and cold, everybody was wearing some variation of grey to black. This monochromatism could have come off as bleak and boring but it does land on the right side of minimalism and creates a space where the perfomances and the story has room to unfold.
There were only some minor things that were a little weird, above all Catherine’s costumes. But these things are easily shrugged off and the rest of the play is fascinating, if depressing to watch.