Hugh Casey reviews A View From the Bridge, whose production was a first-class one, despite the low level of attendance on its last night running. 


 

“Did you hear me gasp?”

“Aye, but that was more than once though, was it not?”

Gareth Owen’s physicality in the role of Eddie Carbone consistently formed the authentic atmosphere that makes for great live theatre. Concentrated acts of intense physicality built through the denouement; culminating in a violent, grasping kiss between Owen as Eddie and Caitlin Morris as Catherine Carbone. After the intermission, these moments of tension climaxed in physical violence and death, but it was during the opening scenes between Eddie and Catherine that the destabilising tension accumulated. Again, it was Owen’s physical commitment in the role that established this high level of tense pressure.

After the interval Morris appeared much more comfortable in her role, having carried a slightly sheepish onstage presence in the opening scenes. Whether intentional or not, this change of stage dynamics was conducive for Catherine’s character development; ultimately effective in the final scenes and for the play as a whole.

Photo by Jamie Jones

Photo by Jamie Jones

Oli Savage as Rodolpho, Eilidh Mackinnon as Beatrice, and Jonathan Hewitt as Marco all merit praise in their respective roles. The supporting cast was by no means being carried by Owen. Indeed there was fantastic chemistry between all, necessary for A View from the Bridge in particular due to the subtle communication of emotion and strained composure –examples of this were Eddie’s boxing ‘lesson’ given to Rodolpho, and subsequent test of strength between Marco and Eddie. Seb Bridges, playing Alfieri, the lawyer functioning as a chorus, easily depicted the graveness of the events with a stern tonality in conversing with both the audience and Eddie.

I was disappointed by the level of attendance. Going to the last performance (10th March) I expected the auditorium to be full, especially with a well-known and well respected play. Sadly it was around half capacity.

Individual and collective performances in this production of A View from the Bridge certainly matched the professional space within the Byre. The stage setup and all extra technical elements were also of fitting quality, for which all involved deserve credit.

Ultimately, the piece was impressive.  The acting was well above par, the atmosphere held strong consistently without dropping energy or intensity.  It’s a shame there were not more people there to share in the event.  Those who missed it missed out.

 

 

Hugh Casey