Director: Juliet Forster
Set and costume designer: Rhys Jarman
Lighting designer: Aideen Malone
Composer: Sophie Cotton
Fight director: Bethan Clarke
Cast: Mete Dursun (Louis), Reuben Johnson (Marco), Nicholas Karimi (Eddie Carbone), Pedro Leandro (Rodolpho), Lili Miller (Catherine), Robert Pickavance (Alfieri), Daniel Poyser (Mike), Laura Pyper (Beatrice), Andrew Squires (Immigration officer/Tony).
In 1950s New York respected longshoreman Eddie Carbone lives a life of seeming stability with his wife and niece in a tight knit, immigrant community bound by moral codes of justice and honour. The surprise arrival of his wife’s Sicilian cousins unravels all that they have built together as the young men search out work, wealth and love.
Juliet Forster’s recent productions include Sense and Sensibility (York Theatre Royal, Theatre By the Lake), A Midsummer’s Night Dream (Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre, York) and Romeo & Juliet (Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre, Blenheim).
She says of A View from the Bridge: “It is arguably one of the best plays ever written, an extraordinary text and a brilliant, unforgettable experience for an audience. It’s a play that I love.”
The play is set in 1950s Brooklyn so how relevant is it today? “Look at the kind of climate we’re in in this country – and across the world really – of shifting attitudes and antagonism towards immigration, particularly the idea of economic immigration. It should be a basic human right that we can move to where there is work so we can feed our family.
“It’s a really strong theme in the play even though it’s the back story to the central story of what happens to Eddie Carbone. It also raises lots of questions around different models of masculinity and that is also something that feels very current to our world.
“You are talking about a fantastic story and brilliant text already, in what feels a very contemporary setting and a universal story despite being set in 1950s Brooklyn Italian-American community.”
The production boasts what Juliet describes as a “very mixed cast in terms of ethnicity and nationality”.
She says: “I am interested in the migrancy themes in the play, and in some respects I was interested in expanding the relevance of the story beyond the very specific Italian-American setting by recruiting a very mixed cast. People with roots in lots of different parts of the world because this is a play that spreads out into being quite a global issue instead of being focussed on just one community.”
Community casts in York and Northampton will help create the world of 1950s Brooklyn, playing neighbours and co-workers of the main characters.
Juliet says: “Arthur Miller says: “The mind of Eddie Carbone is not comprehensible apart from its relation to his neighbourhood, his fellow workers, his social situation. His self-esteem depends upon their estimate of him and his value created largely by his fidelity to the code of his culture. It’s important for me that we create a large living, breathing, feeling community on stage around him, drawing on the skills of local community actors.”
“I am really looking forward to exploring the questions raised in the play around trust in a community, betrayal, social taboos and attitudes to the law.”