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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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083 – The Caretaker by Harold Pinter

083 – The Caretaker by Harold Pinter

When it premiered in London’s West End in 1960, The Caretaker catapulted its author to fame and fortune. The play is set entirely in a single room in a dilapidated house, and presents the territorial battle between three men living on the margins of society. The psychological manoeuvrings of the men are dramatised in what we now recognise as Pinter’s cryptic mix of comedy and menace, along with his characteristic relish in the precision and panache of language.

As we record this episode a new production of the play is playing in the Minerva theatre in Chichester, and I am delighted to welcome its director, Justin Audibert, to the podcast to help us explore Pinter’s enigmatic work.

082 – People, Places & Things by Duncan Macmillan

082 – People, Places & Things by Duncan Macmillan

Duncan Macmillan’s People, Places & Things is a blisteringly frank and funny portrait of addiction and invented identity. When the play premiered at the National Theatre in 2015, Denise Gough won awards for her electrifying performance, and as we record this episode she revives her role in London’s West End.

It is a fascinating and challenging play, and an exhilarating piece of theatre. I am delighted to talk with its author, Duncan Macmillan, and the production’s director, Jeremy Herrin.

081 – The Government Inspector, by Nikolay Gogol

081 – The Government Inspector, by Nikolay Gogol

Vladimir Nabokov described The Government Inspector as the “greatest play in the Russian language”. Gogol’s comedy of mistaken identity is an unexpected mix of fantastical farce and serious social satire. that has survived as a paradigm of political corruption and social hypocrisy in any age or place.

As we record this episode a new adaptation of the play written and directed by Patrick Myles arrives on the London stage, and I’m delighted to talk with Patrick about this classic play and its enigmatic author.

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.