Friday, 18 April 2014

'A View from the Bridge' Young Vic *****

I have seen a variety of plays and musicals already this year, and without  a shadow of a doubt the Young Vic’s interpretation of Arthur Miller’s 1955 play, ‘A View from the Bridge’ is the standout production of them all. Even though I have never witnessed one of  Miller's plays until tonight, without seeing previous performances of his plays I instantly felt that it was a brilliant and entertaining representation of the playwright's work. The play is set in Brooklyn's Italian-American neighbourhood; however, instead of having an elaborate set, it has been uniquely staged as a naked thrust, which uses minimalistic set, which can feel rather clinical, however despite this it still engages you throughout . As well as this ,all actors perform barefoot  The narrative explores the idea of, betrayal, family, honour and obsession. Through narration by the lawyer, Alfieri we are taken on a journey to see the effect that obsession can impact on a man's life . Eddie a middle-aged family man and has an obsessive relationship with his seventeen year old niece, who he's been looking after since her mother passed away. He becomes erratic when his wife's cousins arrive illegally from Italy, and when Catherine, his niece, decides to be romantically involved with Rodolpho, trouble begins for everyone connected with Eddie. It's a spectacular revival for such a well-respected piece of playwriting and the ending is exceptionally moving and it is such moments that will remain in my memory for the rest of my life. It's worth a visit to the Young Vic. The acting by the entire company is exquisite and fully encapsulates the struggles of Italian-American life. Mark Strong is extraordinary as the central character, Eddie. Nicole Walker is wonderful as Eddie’s frustrated wife Beatrice. Phoebe Fox is amazing as the mollycoddled niece, Catherine, Emun Elliot and Luke Norris are spectacular as the immigrants, Marco and Rodolpho the two actors. Matthew Gould is sensational as the lawyer/narrator, Alfieri. Ivo van Hove's direction is simply phenomenal as he has been able to reinterpret Millers’s text out of the naturalistic style and present it as a piece of theatre that will engage you in a variety of ways. I found Jan Versweyveld's design to be a work of pure splendor and something I haven't seen before. What an outstanding production and I have to say an excellent experience all round.

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