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A View From The Bridge Review

Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh
4 stars
The power of any Arthur Miller play comes, not from the surface
machismo that drives them, but from the human frailty that lies behind
it. So it is with his masterly study of the ultimate blue collar
betrayal through the actions of Brooklyn longshoreman Eddie Carbone,
whose inarticulate affections for his teenage niece Catherine bring
about his demise. There are few directors more sensitive to Miller’s
world than John Dove, who over the last seven years has been working
his way through the writer’s canon on the Lyceum stage with a striking
sense of low-key ritual that goes way beyond any natural actor’s
tendency for bombast.

The tone is set from the off here with Liam Brennan’s Alfieri, the
street-smart lawyer and narrator of the piece who provides the play’s
moral centre while at the same time keeping a cool distance from the
action. The key to the play is the line, “You can get back quicker a
million dollars you stole than a word you gave away,” and is here made
all the more telling by its matter of fact delivery as the world turns
on a slow revolve behind him. In this way, small lives become epic as
the inevitable tragedy is played out.

As Eddie, Stanley Townsend prowls the stage like a wounded bear,
neither able to express his jealousy of Catherine’s relationship with
fey illegal immigrant Rodolpho nor stop himself from informing on him
to the authorities. Kathryn Howden’s Beatrice is an equally
heartbreaking portrayal of the slighted matriarch, while Kirsty
Mackay’s Catherine moves from perky naiveté to premature wisdom with a
deftness that typifies this masterly production of a mighty work.

The Herald, January 17th 2011

ends

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