View this glistening production

You really can’t have too much of a good thing, as the fifth production of this play – at this theatre – amply proves.

Tuesday, 20th January 2015, 8:50 am

Director David Thacker unashamedly dips into The Great American Playbook yet again and given his previous successes here, and his own personal connection to playwright Arthur Miller, it’s another of those productions that glistens to his touch.

Thacker comprehends the many nuances to A View From The Bridge, some of them contradictory, and draws them out of his cast with a set of splendid performances.

Central character Eddie Carbone is a New York dock worker whose vicarious aspirations for his ward Catherine are threatened by the arrival of a young illegal immigrant.

One man’s American Dream descends into nightmare as he battles with his feelings of honour, passion, prejudice and, ultimately, betrayal.

Colin Connor, right, is a thickset Eddie, physically and emotionally, but one whose humanity can still be glimpsed, certainly through the occasional humour of the first act. His is an especially clever performance of raging impotence.

No less convincing is Barbara Drennan as a wife struggling to understand her husband’s desires, or Natasha Davidson as the orphaned niece suffocated by their affection.

As the illegal interlopers to this distorted love triangle
Tristan Brooke (Rodolpho) and David Nabil Stuart (Marco) are also perfectly cast. Patrick Poletti, as the story’s narrator Alfieri, is a convincing voice of reason.

His role as the play’s Chorus is augmented by Thacker’s sparing use of a community cast of young drama students.

Ciaran Bagnall’s stage and lighting design serves up a portion of Brooklyn Bridge from which Alfieri can speak like a Roman consul, and an illuminating tableau of male posturing at the end of Act One, as Marco lifts a chair one-handed.

More difficult than it looks – but then David Thacker pulls pretty much the same trick with this entire production.

David Upton