A View From The Bridge, Theatre Royal Haymarket, 2024
Photo: Johan Persson
  • Theatre, Drama
  • Haymarket Theatre Royal, Leicester Square
  • Recommended


A View from the Bridge

3 out of 5 stars

Arthur Miller’s monumental tragedy doesn’t really suit this light, witty take starring Dominic West


Time Out says

Ivo van Hove’s landmark 2014 Young Vic production of Arthur Miller’s ‘A View from the Bridge’ quite probably stands as the greatest ever production of the 1956 tragedy. It was so good that it’s been a decade since anyone else attempted a major revival. And on this evidence, it’s still probably a bit soon. 

To be fair to veteran director Lindsay Posner, he’s taken almost the exact opposite tack to Van Hove. Where the Belgian’s production was serious, stylised and dreamlike, Posner’s is naturalist, earthy and often surprisingly funny.

Dominic West is certainly disarmingly cuddly as Red Hook longshoreman Eddie Carbone. He’s almost like a sitcom patriarch, with his inch thick Brooklyn accent, pally persona and air of befuddlement at a changing world. He is also a fairly small, fairly trivial, not particularly special man who might have lived a life of little note were he not driven to throw away everything because of his confused passion for his niece Catherine (a beautifully naive Nia Towle).

It’s an interesting take that pulls away from the usual idea of Eddie as a rock-hewn man of Biblical integrity and instead imagines him as just some dude. There’s something to be said for it: men who are frustrated in their marriage, who develop inappropriate feelings for their nieces, probably don’t tend to come across like figures from Greek tragedy. At his best West’s Eddie is outstandingly pathetic, reduced to feeble noises of self-pity in front of his wife Bea (an impressively crushed Kate Fleetwood) after he alienates the community via his petulant and dishonourable conduct towards his lodger Rodolpho.

But ‘A View from the Bridge’ is a tragedy, and I don’t think Posner’s production really manages to square its almost jaunty early tone with that fact. Fulfilling the role of Greek chorus, Martin Marquez’s lawyer Alferi talks about Eddie with rarified wonder (‘his eyes were like tunnels; my first thought was that he has committed a crime, but soon I saw it was only a passion that had moved into his body, like a stranger’) but West’s Eddie is just… kind of a shlub, and it’s hard to reconcile him with the figure Alferi is describing with such detached wonderment. Likewise, the shift here from the lighter early tone to out and out bloodshed feels jarring - Eddie never really seems like a very dangerous figure. His lightness is only accentuated by Callum Scott Howells’s hammy Rodolpho – it’s kind of a light relief role, but ‘A View from the Bridge’ is truly not a very funny play, and yet the production really wants to insist otherwise.

‘What if Eddie Carbone was actually just some regular guy?’ is a perfectly legitimate question to ask. And West asks it well. But I don’t think Arthur Miller has an answer for it, and Posner’s production feels smaller as a result, turning Miller’s great work into something decidedly humdrum.


Haymarket Theatre Royal
18 Suffolk St
Piccadilly Circus tube
£15_£125. Runs 2hr 20min

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