Presented by State Theatre Company
Reviewed 16 July 2019
From its premiere in 1956, under the direction of Peter Brook, A View From the Bridge has been regarded as one of the greats of the 20th century American canon.
Supposedly based on a true story related to Arthur Miller by a lawyer, it tells the story of the Carbone family, living in Brooklyn in the Italian immigrant community.
Eddie Carbone regards himself as a simple man, working hard to support his family: wife Beatrice, and niece Catherine, who he and Beatrice have raised from a young age. When two of Beatrice’s cousins arrive illegally from Italy, and the Carbones give them shelter, the family, and Eddie’s self-image, begin to fall apart.
Mark Saturno owns the stage as Eddie. He clearly revels in Miller’s amazing language, and gives us a man who is whole, flawed, self-deluded and, by the end of play, broken. Saturno’s subtelty and strength anchor the rest of the outstanding cast around him. Bill Allert as Alfieri gives just the right balance of gravitas and concern as both narrator, and outside witness to the unfolding events. The fabulous Elena Carapetis is perfect as Beatrice, giving us a woman whose unconditional love for her family is both her strength and her undoing. Maiah Stewardson gives us a Catherine who matures over two hours, yet retains a certain naiviety. She and Antoine Jelk as Rodolpho have just the right chemistry, and Jelk is able to maintain the air of mystery around his character: is he gay, or is he just…well…Italian? Dale March brilliantly gives depth and darkness to Marco, using his sparse lines to paint a rich portrait.
Expertly and lovingly directed by Kate Champion, using Victoria Lamb’s genius set, A View From the Bridge is a lesson in play-making. Tense, humorous, warm, dark and layered, it is a classic example of Miller’s hymns to Everyman, whose undoing is lack of self-awareness.
State Theatre Company is hitting some home-runs this year, and this is yet another one.
Reviewed by Tracey Korsten
Rating out of 5: 5 Moving
Photo credit: Kate Pardey
Venue: Dunstan Playhouse
Season: 12th July-3rd August
Duration: 2 hours 20 minutes (including interval)