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