Stirling university’s drama society takes on Arthur Miller’s modernised Greek tragedy, ‘A View From the Bridge.’ I managed to sit down with some of the cast and crew to gather their thoughts before the big show.
“When theatre’s good, you really feel everything. I want to hear people gasping or laughing… maybe even being sad and shedding a tear.” said Rachel Clinton, the director. “I want people to really go through the motions of the play as its happening – because that’s the way the play works. It’s a very simple plot, its very contained, but it hits a boiling point.”
The story follows the Carbone family – working class Italian-Americans who agree to help house and employ two immigrants (played by Jack Williamson and Franco Nazareno). Their lawyer, Alphieri (Rowen Rennie), observes with the audience as we are helpless to witness events run their bloody course.
Claudia Edwards plays Catherine, a love-struck seventeen year old who must face the realities of growing up and confronting her over-bearing uncle -Eddie (Played by Django Marsh).
“I think her biggest transformation is that she doesn’t need someone to tell her that everything’s ok,” Claudia said. “She’s like – I don’t wanna be like my aunt, I don’t wanna do what my uncle says, I wanna do what I want. I want to be with Rodolpho. I want to go and work. It’s all about her coming into herself and becoming a woman.”
Jack Williamson plays Rodolpho, the ambitious lover of Catherine who finds himself dangerously at odds with her uncle. We talked about how relevant this old tale is to a current audience:
“The themes of the play are very relevant today. Some of the ways in which we analyse the play now are much different to what they would have been in the fifties. Certainly, there’s themes such as immigration, homophobia, sexism but also more key themes like justice and the law or family values- that sort of thing. I think they’re very relevant to the modern day and even more so to our political sphere at the moment. “
It’s true – Miller’s story still receives multiple Broadway revivals and star treatment with the likes of Mark Strong and Scarlett Johansson drawn to the roles. It’s a period drama which creates a gripping atmosphere of tension and dread, it stays with its audiences, refusing to fade into obscurity.
I got to speak to the SUDS’ president, Abby Ferguson, about what she wants viewers to take away from the performance:
“I want people to come away from this play thinking theatre- particularly student theatre, is still alive and kicking in Stirling. I feel like in order to keep theatre alive we have to keep it accessible. So I hope that people who wouldn’t ordinarily come and see a play will come along and find something in it they enjoy and then continue to develop a love for theatre.”
I got the sense that you didn’t need to be a theatre buff to appreciate this show. There’s something there for everyone – but it’s certainly not for the faint of heart. Tickets now on sale for A View From The Bridge. Showtimes are the 7th and 8th of October at the Macrobert Theatre.