Eddie Carbone is the tragic figure in this Miller classic. He is dock worker who lives with his wife Beatrice and Beatrice’s niece, Catherine. They have brought up Catherine since she was a young girl.
Catherine is now a young woman and is starting to make her own way in the world. She has successfully applied for a job in a typing pool for a plumbing company. Beatrice is delighted but Eddie is not impressed. He thinks that the job is below her. Beatrice tells Eddie off and Eddie relents and lets Catherine take the job.
The next event that takes place is when Beatrice’s cousins Marco and Rodolpho arrive in town as illegal immigrants. Eddie and Beatrice agree to house them at their place and during the day they work in the dockyards. Marco is a quietly spoken, reserved man whilst Rodolpho is more outgoing, humorous and arty. There is an attraction between Catherine and Rodolpho and they start spending a lot of time together. This riles Eddie who is jealous of Catherine giving so much attention to the new arrival.
Iain Sinclair’s production is a stripped back one with just a black back wall and one, solitary chair. The director squarely puts the focus on the actors and they reward him with each delivering strong performances
The role of Eddie Carbone is one of the great ones in world drama. Anthony Gooley does it justice. He is very credible as the impulsive, headstrong, hot blooded Carbone.
Janine Watson is simply outstanding as Eddie’s wife Beatrice who sees her husbands’ irrational behaviour and tries, without any luck, to bring him into line. Watson’s performance is just so heartfelt.
As is David Lynch’s performance as wise lawyer and narrator Alfieri. Eddie comes to him seeking counsel but is unable to heed his advice. Alfieri calls for an alarm to go out but already feels Eddie’s fate is sealed.
Zoe Terakes gives a strong performance as Katherine, a good natured soul who is just coming into womanhood and sees her path blocked at every turn by Eddie. When she tries to break free, Eddie’s behaviour becomes more and more belligerent. Terakes’ performance is very physical and emotional, as it needs to be.
David Soncin’s performance as Beatrice’s cousin Marco is good. Marco is a man of quiet strength who has illegally emigrated to America to raise money for his family back in Italy. He hopes to return to Italy after a few years.
Scott Lee plays Rodolpho, Beatrice’s other cousin. He is more outgoing and arty than Marco and Katherine develops a strong affection for him. Rodolpho wants to settle in America much to Eddie’s consternation.
Giles Gartrell-Mills rounds out the cast playing Louis and various other ‘minor’ roles.
This play has a relentless, shocking power. All done with a set comprising just one small chair. In my view this is a must see.
VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE is playing the Ensemble Theatre until the 24th August.