Classic plays by well-known international playwrights are popping-up in theatres around the island at the moment including A View from the Bridge by Arthur Miller, which will take the audience to 1950s America once again this weekend.
Set in an Italian American neighbourhood near the Brooklyn Bridge in New York, this two-act drama premiered in London’s West End on October 11, 1956. It employs a chorus and narrator in the character of Alfieri who, being raised in 1900s Italy but now working as an American lawyer, represents the ‘Bridge’ between the two cultures.
In Alfieri’s opening speech to the play, he describes the violent history of the small Brooklyn community of Red Hook and tells the audience that the second-generation Sicilians are now more civilised, more American, and are prepared to ‘settle for half’ and let the law handle their disputes. But there are exceptions, and he then begins to narrate the story of Eddie Carbone, an Italian American longshoreman who lives with his wife Beatrice and her orphaned niece Catherine.
Eddie is the tragic protagonist of the play. He is very protective of Catherine and has a growing passion for her as she approaches her 18th birthday. He hasn’t had sex with his wife for three months and he is starting to dislike the interest Catherine is showing towards other men. But this doesn’t stop her courting her cousin Rodolpho, who arrived in New York as an illegal immigrant and who is staying with them.
The plot thickens when Eddie convinces himself that Rodolpho is homosexual and is only after Catherine so he can marry her to gain status as a legal citizen. He turns to Alfieri for help but finds none. Not knowing what else to do, he calls the immigration services and Rodolpho is taken into custody. Things turn ugly and Alfieri shares his feeling with the audience while talking about how the Italians who come over to America must settle for half measures.
The play is directed by Stelios Kafkarides.
A View from the Bridge
Performance of the play by Arthur Miller. Until December 17. Vladimiros Kafkarides Cultural Centre, 11-15 Vladimirios Kafkarides Street, Aglantzia, Nicosia. Saturdays: 8.30pm and Sundays: 6.30pm. In Greek. Tel: 22-312940