“Eddie Carbone. Eddie Carbone. Eddie Carbone.”
What more is there to say about a play that was my undoubted favourite production of 2014 (out of more than 380 lest you forget!) and which did more than I could have possibly imagined to finally introduce the spectacular creative force of Ivo van Hove to a wider audience. Not much as it turns out! The Young Vic’s extraordinarily successful A View From The Bridge has now transferred into the West End, setting up shop in the relative intimacy of the Wyndham’s and remains one of the most highly recommended shows that I could urge you to go and see.
My original review is here and I stand by everything in it, van Hove’s recasting of Arthur Miller’s classic still burns with its unstoppable, slow-building tragic force and even in this larger space, maintains the same level of punishing emotion. I hadn’t intended to revisit in all honesty, having seen the original run twice but the announcement of onstage seating – to replicate something of the feel of Jan Versweyveld’s original staging – hooked me back in. When the pricing was finally announced, I balked but the simultaneous release of a new date, complete with tickets for the front row of the balcony (one of the best West End bargains for my money), meant I was helpless to resist.
Third time around, I enjoyed seeing it from a new angle – straight on this time, and it really struck me how precisely van Hove positions his actors on the stage, no matter how involved in the scene they are. There’s always something being said about the inter-relationships between the characters as you notice who they’re facing, who they’re closest to, who they’ve turned their back on… And creatively, Versweyveld’s lighting and Tom Gibbons’ sound swell magnificently to fill the larger space, I really didn’t feel like we missed anything from our seat in the gods.
So there you have it, you have no excuse not to go and see this rather spankingly fantastic piece of theatre now. And if all of that wasn’t enough for you, the quality of the understudies is epic with my Best Actor fosterIAN winner Cary Crankson lying in wait should Luke Norris be indisposed.