A View from the Bridge (1981)

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Poster by Poster Designer

by Arthur Miller

Directed by Ken Lucas

Performances: Sun 3rd – Sat 9th May 1981, Main Stage


Text about the play




"Tale of Italian Passion"

West Norwood's Bell Theatre, formerly the main theatre of the South London Theatre Centre, rings in a new epoch this week with an absorbing production of the Arthur Miller classic "A View from the Bridge".

The play, once ludicrously banned by the Lord Chamberlain's office on account of a kiss savagely inflicted by Eddie Carbone on the Sicilian immigrant Rodolpho, is a sombre tale of jealousy and passion.

It is a happy chance that in Ken Lucas' production, the lawyer Alfieri, narrator of the action, is played by Philip Piacentino, himself an Italian-American before becoming one of SLTC's most familiar figures.

The narrative device itself seems nowadays rather old-fashioned, and merely recalls the fact that Tennessee Williams did it rather better in "The Glass Menagerie". And the incidental street-corner action does, in this production, look rather creaky.

No matter. The main action, in the Carpone apartment, is gripping stuff, and paced with all the deliberation of gathering tragedy. Mike Mattey plays the arduous and taxing role of Eddie, torn between family and community loyalties, and driven to desperation by his love for his wife's niece, Catherine.

It is a true and honest performance, with moments of classic power held within bounds by the actor's intelligence and reticence.

Heather Gilmore, as Catherine, is also riven by contradicting loyalties; to uncle Eddie and to Rodolpho, the illegal immigrant she loves. A sincere and touching portrayal, and enhanced by Chris King's fine study of Rodolpho, vain, extrovert but essentially likable.

Julia Thompson is a dignified figure as Eddie's wife Beatrice, bewildered by the gathering storms but unable to prevent the ensuing tragedy. Its agent, Rodolpho's brother Marco, is played by Brian Scoltock in what is surely one of the truest performances he has given at the SLTC.

Donald Madgwick, The Croydon Advertiser. 8 May 1981.


Reminiscences and Anecdotes

The colour photos above were taken by me, it seems from the sound box during the show, but I seem not to have a credit as sound operator. This is a bit strange, I will have to check. The blank three spaces will contain official pictures when I have gone through the archive book.

Brian Fretwell

See Also

Have there been other SLT productions of this play? Link to them here.

Or add anything that is related within this site. The author's page for instance or other plays with a similar theme.



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