Burnley Garrick's latest production is a 'seething portrait of community life'

Arthur Miller's psychological play about the hard life of Brooklyn immigrants forging a living on the docks of Red Hook can be viewed as a social drama, too.
The cast of Burnley Garrick's 'A View from the Bridge'The cast of Burnley Garrick's 'A View from the Bridge'
The cast of Burnley Garrick's 'A View from the Bridge'

In 'A View from the Bridge', longshoreman Eddie Carbone is revealed as having an obsessive love for his niece Catherine.

It is a love that flares into frenzied jealousy when Catherine falls for Rodolfo, one of the two illegal immigrants whom Eddie, and his wife Beatrice are harbouring.

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There is also the underlying social level of an immigrant community living by almost tribal customs and a code which is broken by Eddie’s betraying his two Italian brethren to the authorities, the consequences of which end in tragedy.

This is very much Eddie Carbone’s play, portrayed by a very dominant John Cummings who towered above the unfolding events. His put-upon wife, Lynne Cummings was the archetypical Italian wife, allowing her husband to dominate, but also very determined in her shielding of her niece, Catherine, played by Rachel Bailey, from the less than healthy attentions of Eddie.

James Bateman and Simon Bailey were the two illegal immigrants, Rudolpho and Marco, entering this new world in which they were attempting to improve their lives.

There were fine performances from the principal players who were introduced by Arthur Miller’s technique of using Mr Alfieri, Alan Bailey, as a Greek chorus, whilst at the same time offering advice as to exactly what was the law. Although when Marco says, “all the law is not in a book” we came fully to appreciate what it means to be “a community”.

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In front of a very appreciative audience, this seething portrait of community life was well presented in the opening play of the Garrick’s new season. of one of Arthur Miller’s more famous works, superbly directed by Peter Allen who has moulded his cast into a very believable immigrant Italian community.

“A View from the Bridge” is on at the ACE Centre, Nelson until Saturday.