I've been a bit lax in writing about the plays I've seen in recent weeks but had to hit the keyboard for this one. Studied it at Uni but have never seen it on stage so I had to book tickets, especially when I heard that Ken Stott was to play Eddie in this production at the Duke of York's Theatre.
He's perfect for the role physically for a start. Eddie, in my mind, is a character that needs to be played by a manly man, dark and stocky. And he's a talented actor.
Arthur Miller's A View From the Bridge is the story of a working class family of Italian immigrant stock in 1950s Brooklyn.
Eddie and his wife Beatrice (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio) have brought up their niece Catherine (Hayley Atwell). Eddie is naturally very protective of Catherine and wants a better life for her. She is growing up and emotions are tested when the family put up a couple of illegal immigrant cousins from Italy, Rodolpho (Harry Lloyd) and Marco (Gerard Monaco). Rodolpho and Catherine start to fall in love and so the tinderbox is lit.
It is a story about a raft of basic human emotions: love, jealousy, loyalty and pride, written at a time when Miller's own loyalties were being tested by his associations with Marxist and Communist groups.
My excitement about this play was justly rewarded. Stott's performance is stunning. Every emotion is so expertly played out that you feel it all, the anger, pain and the frustration at the situation and with himself. It is his journey and he grabs you and takes you with him.
In his shining performance it would be easy to put the others in the dark but there isn't a weak one among them.
My only minor quibble was whether Harry Lloyd is just a tad too young to play Rodolpho as he appeared a little juvenile next to Catherine, almost making her look like a sophisticated city girl when in fact she's had quite a sheltered up bringing and he's the one that's sailed half way across the world. But it is only a minor quibble.
It was the best night of theatre I've had for a while and if it wasn't so expensive I'd go and see it again.
It's apparently a GCSE set text this year - wish it had been on when I was a student.
And as I believe reviews are to a certain extent subjective, here are what some of the pro's have thought about it: