The Young Vic: A View From The Bridge

Screen Shot 2014-05-13 at 20.15.33Words by Elizabeth Pollard

I have been told by a number of sources, for some while now, to go see a play at the Young Vic. And whilst I love the theatre (strictly plays, absolutely not musicals), the age old excuse of finding the time, is one I continuously blame not going on. However, I finally made it last week to see the latest adaptation of Arthur Miller’s A View From The Bridge; which was fantastic in every way.

The Young Vic builds a bespoke auditorium for every play; seats, stage and all. For A View From The Bridge, a large, wide box jutted out into the centre of the room like a jetty. It’s shallow walls were made up of glass cubes and the floor was bright white, reflecting the flat lights directly above. The audience sat in tight, steep rows build of industrial piping and hessian cushion. Only a few small details transformed the space from sterile rectangle into a dramatically atmospheric set for these intense and troubled characters.

The story is set in 1950s Brooklyn, New York, when the world looked enviously at America’s prosperity. After two Italian brothers are smuggled into the country to make their modest fortune, they are housed by a couple and their coming-of-age niece. After falling in love with the youngest brother, her over protective uncle becomes weary of his intentions and begins to question his own, once certain, morals.

I was truly dazzled by both the production and performance of this contemporary adaptation. Reflective light kept the stage simple but, combined with powerful performances from the entire cast, it cast a haunting atmosphere on the theatre. I was swept away by the characters’ indigence, so much so, it made me contemplate the state of greed in our modern society, however, saved by the wise and patient aunt, acting as the beacon of hope and the voice of reason.

Judging by this experience, there is no doubt in my mind I will be returning to The Young Vic. Very soon.

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