A View From the Bridge – reviews of 'great' Miller revival

Apr 15, 2014

Mark Strong wows critics in a 'superb' fresh take on Arthur Miller's modern classic at the Young Vic

What you need to know
A revival of Arthur Miller's modern tragedy A View From the Bridge, has opened at the Young Vic theatre, London. Experimental Belgian director Ivo van Hove (Roman Tragedies) stages Miller's 1955 play starring Mark Strong (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Sherlock Holmes) and Nicola Walker (Spooks).

The story, set in Brooklyn, centres on longshoreman Eddie Carbone, who hosts two Sicilian cousins at his home. When one of the cousins attempts to woo his beloved niece, Eddie's jealousy is aroused and a dark secret emerges from his past. Runs until 7 June. 

What the critics like 
This is "a great, fresh-minted production of a modern classic", says Charles Spencer in the Daily Telegraph. The acting is superb in a work of seething intensity and savage beauty that grips the audience throughout. 

It is "a visceral, vital reinterpretation of a classic play, full of persuasive visual imagery", says Laura Barnett in The Observer. Strong is outstanding as Carbone, matched by an excellent cast - especially Nicola Walker as Carbone's frustrated wife.

Van Hove's impressive revival strips Miller's play of naturalistic detail, "returning it to its roots in Greek tragedy", says Michael Billington in The Guardian. In this forceful production we sense we are watching some timeless, transgressive ritual being played out on a naked stage.

What they don't like
The power of the production lies in emphasising the play's universal qualities, but "something is also lost", says Laura Barnett in The Observer. We have no sense of the period detail of Brooklyn, or of the dockworkers' "hardscrabble" existence.        

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