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Review: A View From the Bridge, Gate Theatre

Arthur Miller's 1955 play may seem very topical, dealing with the sheltering of illegal immigrants, but A View from the Bridge is principally a play about the meaning of integrity.

Marking the highly anticipated return to Irish stage of former director of the Abbey Theatre Joe Dowling, this new production is a most traditional celebration of Miller's themes of betrayal, revenge and unthinkable desire.

Against a black and white Brooklyn backdrop, designer Beowulf Boritt has brilliantly created the world of these immigrant longshoremen, all wooden scaffolding and ropes on pulleys, a set which remarkably transforms into the cramped apartment of the Carbones.

Eddie Carbone is a second-generation Italian immigrant making a life working on the piers, keeping a happy home with his wife Beatrice and her orphaned young niece Catherine, a beautiful girl on the cusp of womanhood.

But this contented hard-working world is ultimately fatally shattered by the arrival of Beatrice's two smuggled cousins off the boat from Italy.

This is a play where the power lies in the detail, the small cracks of unease forming, and sometimes here these are slightly overdone, the subtly of Miller too blatantly rendered, as we build towards the inescapable tragedy. But Dowling has created a strong and compelling production and one that is most beautifully designed.

Acting as one-man Greek chorus, narrator and the moral compass is Alfieri, Bosco Hogan in one of the strongest performances. He is matched by Lauren Coe's powerful performance as the blossoming Catherine.

But the lynchpin of this production is American actor Scott Aiello's wonderfully convincing Eddie Carbone, who transforms from bighearted family man to inflamed maniac desperately trying to keep hold of what matters, but not sure what that is any more beyond his good name.

Irish Independent