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A View From The Bridge, The Octagon Theatre, Bolton

Published by: Kirstie Niland on 28th Jan 2015 | View all blogs by Kirstie Niland
By the time we reach the climax of A View From the Bridge we are all emotionally exhausted.

When I say “we” I mean all of us in the audience joining Eddie Carbone and his family as we sit, helpless, unable to stop him from hurtling headlong into the tragedy that tears them apart.

Colin Connor as Eddie Carbone and Barbara Drennan as Beatrice_ Ian Tilton.jpg

This is the sheer brilliance of Arthur Miller’s writing and David Thacker’s direction. Before you know it you are wrapped up in the intimacy of a close-knit family's little front room in Brooklyn. First experiencing the loving warmth of their togetherness, and then the increasing heat of Eddie’s simmering emotions and eventual eruption.

If only Eddie’s head hadn't turned away from his loyal wife...if only his niece Catherine wasn't so naive about her effect on him...if only Beatrice had been able to get through to them...

So many “if onlys” and all of them so painfully predictable that the resulting pathos is almost too gut-wrenching to bear.

Colin Connor, recently so powerful in his dual actor/narrator role in Early One Morning, performs with such explosive anguish you pity him, even though his possessive love makes him the author of his own disaster.

Colin Connor as Eddie Carbone _ Ian Tilton.jpg

Barbara Drennan portrays his level-headed wife Beatrice with such wisdom and perception you never see her steadfast support as foolish. She is well aware of the mounting tension and its cause but chooses to conquer jealousy with loyalty and love, and tries to keep her family on track.

In her bid to find a solution and ride the storm, this strong and fair woman brings tears to your eyes when she fails to succeed. If only.

Natasha Davidson (Catherine) and Tristan Brooke (Rudolpho) convey their confusion and obstinance in the face of Eddie's opposition to their love perfectly, as they remain oblivious to the unstoppable chain of events their love will set in motion.

Natasha Davidson as Catherine and Tristan Brooke as Rodolpho _Ian Tilton.jpg

Although the two couples central to the story are most prominent, the supporting cast, including the brooding David Nabil Stuart as Rudolpho's brother Marco, are equally excellent. As are the students playing the onlookers, whose mere presence in the round condemns Eddie. You can actually feel the weight of their judgement as he allows his raging emotions to eclipse the kindness which allowed him to provide a haven for Beatrice’s illegal immigrant cousins in the first place.

Without giving the plot away further, suffice to say this is one magnificent performance that may leave you drained but definitely not disappointed.

A View From The Bridge is at the Octagon until Saturday 14 February 2015. Tickets are from £26.50 - £10 on 01204 520661, or at www.octagonbolton.co.uk.

Comments

2 Comments

  • Cameron Lowe
    by Cameron Lowe 3 years ago
    This does, indeed, sound like a magnificent performance, Kirstie. Thanks for your review.
  • Kirstie Niland
    by Kirstie Niland 3 years ago
    A pleasure. Really can't recommend it more highly!
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