Stevenage Lytton Players
A View From The Bridge
21 April 2022
The Lytton Theatre
Director – Tom Beirne

A View From The Bridge by Arthur Miller is a two-act play set by the docks of Red Hook, a
working-class part of Brooklyn, New York. It is narrated by lawyer, Alfieri, and revolves
around the Carbone family – Eddie, his wife Beatrice and their niece Catherine.
Joseph Poppy, as Eddie Carbone, gave an absolutely stunning portrayal of a man who is
totally obsessed with his niece Catherine who he and his wife have brought up from a young
age. He refuses to admit that he is extremely possessive and it this possessiveness that
eventually takes over his life at the expense of everything else around him. The passion,
frustrations, anger, turmoil, agony, jealousy, pride, and fanatical obsessions were all so
graphically delivered by Joseph – it was an outstanding piece of acting, – he was just
exceptional!
His wife, Beatrice, was superbly played by Sophie Harris. She had a real depth of
understanding of the character and delivered this with such fervent emotion, movingly
capturing the disintegration of her marriage and the man she loves. A truly heart-rending and
poignant performance.
As Catherine, Alice Smithson, was a breath of fresh air in this otherwise at times, quite
depressing scenario. She gave us life and energy, so happy, caring and loving whilst not
appearing to realise or not choosing to understand the true depth of feelings and
possessiveness emanating from her Uncle Eddie. The character becomes more forthright as
the play proceeds, and we witness the all to inevitable change from young girl into
womanhood – another impressive performance.
Andrew Lee was perfect as Alfieri who is both narrator and local lawyer. His delivery was
that of a powerful and authoritative portrayal as the lawyer trying his best to show concern
for Eddie’s situation whilst telling him how he stood with regards to the law. A bridge
between obsession and reality.

As the elder brother Marco, Richard Absalom was ideally suited to the role. He oozed an
underlying broodiness that could be conveyed with just a look! Wow!!! He played the role of
peacemaker but in the end his beliefs in traditional unwritten Italian law came to the fore as
he finally seeks his revenge. Characterization was spot on, and the accent was just enough
to convince the audience that here was someone you would not wish to mess with.
As a contrast, his younger brother Rodolpho, is a much more out-going character and
Austin Arnold captured this perfectly. He was charming, charismatic, happy-go-lucky, and so
animated and enthusiastic about his new life and his love for Catherine. The innocence of
that first smile, first touch, first kiss made the whole relationship totally believable and both
actors handled the inevitable outcome with great maturity.
Good support came from Courtney Hedger and Barry Woolhead.
The action took place inside the Carbone’s house with an extended walkway stage right for
outdoor scenes and a seating area for Alfieri’s office stage left. The lighting, background
music and sound effects were all appropriate and I liked the workable sash window
overlooking Brooklyn Bridge.
All accents were well controlled and delivered and diction was good. There were moments
when I felt the action could have been moved forward a little more as Catherine played a lot
of her lines close to the back wall and perhaps a little more detail when selecting props to
dress the stage, for example a crucifix on the wall, a clock or even just one family photo. The
set must seem just as real as the characters playing within it.
To do justice to this play it is paramount that you have good, experienced actors and these
actors were not just good they were totally awesome. Tonight, I witnessed a most
impressive and outstanding piece of theatre. Well done to everyone involved.  
Thank you to Mike for looking after me and I hope to see you all again soon.
Vicki Avery District 9 Rep’

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