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069 – A View from the Bridge, by Arthur Miller

069 – A View from the Bridge, by Arthur Miller

Jonathan Slinger as Eddie Carbone
A View from the Bridge, Bolton Octagon Theatre
October 2023
Photo by The Other Richard

 

069 – A View from the Bridge, by Arthur Miller

Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge tells the story of Eddie Carbone, who lives in the immigrant neighbourhood of Red Hook under the Brooklyn Bridge, and works as a longshoreman on the nearby docks. He lives with his wife, Beatrice, and his 17-year-old niece, Catherine, whom Eddie and Beatrice have cared for since she was a child. But Catherine is no longer a child, and her natural desire to pursue her own life as an independent woman will tragically rupture the lives of this family and the close-knit community of Red Hook.

A View from the Bridge, is a powerful drama of parental responsibility, repressed sexual passion, betrayal and vengeance set in post-war America. The play followed the huge successes of Miller’s first three major plays, All My Sons, Death of a Salesman, and The Crucible, all of which we’ve happily also been able to cover on the podcast. A View from the Bridge was first staged on Broadway in a one-act version in September 1955, but the production was not an unqualified success, and Miller subsequently revised and extended the play to its current two acts. Miller was much happier with this extended version, and it received a more positive response when it premiered a year later in October 1956 at the Comedy theatre in London’s West End under the direction of Peter Brook.

The play has of course been revived many times since, with star actors drawn to the towering central role of Eddie Carbone. As we record this episode, there is a new production on tour in the UK, starring Jonathan Slinger as Eddie, and directed by Holly Race Roughan. I’m delighted to be able to have the chance to talk with Holly about a play that remains emotional shattering and socially resonant.

Other Arthur Miller plays on The Play Podcast:
013 – Death of a Salesman
046 – All My Sons 
054 – The Crucible

 

Holly Race Roughan

Holly Race Roughan is a director of new work at Headlong Theatre Company, where she was Associate Artistic Director between 2019 and 2021. She was an Executive Producer on the TV drama anthology UNPRECEDENTED, produced by Headlong, BBC Four, and Century Films, directing HOUSE PARTY by April De Angelis and PENNY by Charlene James for the series. Previously for Headlong she directed the Ibsen adaptation HEDDA TESMAN by Cordelia Lynn, as well as the UK tour of PEOPLE, PLACES & THINGS by Duncan MacMillan.  

Holly has directed shows at the Lyric Hammersmith, the Royal Court, the Southbank Centre, Southwark Playhouse, Theatre 503, the VAULT Festival, and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, where she co-directed a new version of Ovid’s Metamorphoses in 2021. 

Recommended Play

Holly recommended The Visit by Friedrich Durrenmatt.

Holly Race Roughan in rehearsal for
A View from the Bridge
Photo by Helen Murray

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079 – The Hills of California, by Jez Butterworth

079 – The Hills of California, by Jez Butterworth

A new Jez Butterworth play is a theatrical event. The Hills of California is currently running at the Harold Pinter theare in London’s West End, directed by Sam Mendes. Do not be misled by the title, however, we are not in sunny California, but in the back streets of Blackpool, where four daughters come together to say goodbye to their dying mother. The play is a portrait of lost dreams, of deeply ingrained patterns of love and hurt within a family, and of suppressed and mutable memories.

I’m joined to explore this major new work by Sean McEvoy, author of Class, Culture and Tragedy in the Plays of Jez Butterworth.

078 – The Lover and The Collection, by Harold Pinter

078 – The Lover and The Collection, by Harold Pinter

We have a double-bill in this episode of two short plays written by Harold Pinter in the early 1960s: The Lover and The Collection, both of which explore sexual compulsion and the manipulation of truth within marriage or partnerships. As we record this episode a new production of both plays is playing at the Theatre Royal in Bath, directed by Lindsay Posner.

I’m delighted to welcome Lindsay back to the podcast to talk about these two Pinter gems.

Claudie Blakley and David Morrissey in The Lover
Photo by Nobby Clark

077 – An Enemy of the People, by Henrik Ibsen

077 – An Enemy of the People, by Henrik Ibsen

Henrik Ibsen’s play An Enemy of the People is a fable of truth and lies, politics and power, and the challenge and costs of pursuing an unpopular crusade to speak truth to power. It’s a story of ‘fake news’, manipulation of the media, the dangers of populism, and the environmental cost of capitalism. No wonder it strikes a chord in our time, for as we record this episode there are two major new productions of An Enemy of the People on the world stage.

I’m delighted to welcome back to the podcast, Ibsen expert, Professor Kirsten Shepherd-Barr, who I was privileged to talk with in episode 74 on Ibsen’s play Ghosts

Matt Smith as Thomas Stockmann
Duke of York’s Theatre, London
Photo by Manuel Harlan

Holly Race Roughan

Holly Race Roughan

Holly Race Roughan

Holly Race Roughan is a director of new work at Headlong Theatre Company, where she was Associate Artistic Director between 2019 and 2021. She was an Executive Producer on the TV drama anthology UNPRECEDENTED, produced by Headlong, BBC Four, and Century Films, directing HOUSE PARTY by April De Angelis and PENNY by Charlene James for the series. Previously for Headlong she directed the Ibsen adaptation HEDDA TESMAN by Cordelia Lynn, as well as the UK tour of PEOPLE, PLACES & THINGS by Duncan MacMillan.  

Holly has directed shows at the Lyric Hammersmith, the Royal Court, the Southbank Centre, Southwark Playhouse, Theatre 503, the VAULT Festival, and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, where she co-directed a new version of Ovid’s Metamorphoses in 2021. 

Holly Race Roughan in rehearsal for
A View from the Bridge
Photo by Helen Murray

Recommended Play(s)

Holly recommended The Visit by Friedrich Durrenmatt.