BritishTheatre

Published on

May 29, 2017

REVIEW: A View From The Bridge, St Martin's Church Colchester ✭✭✭✭

By

pauldavies

A View From The Bridge presented by Protocol Theatre

 

A View From The Bridge.

St. Martins Church, Colchester.

25 May 2017

4 Stars

New Colchester based company ProTo Col, (Professionals Together in Colchester), aims to utilize the talents of creatives in the local area, to establish a base outside London. It’s an ambitious aim, and with their first production, the bar has been set high, with an excellent production of Arthur Miller’s classic.  Played on a stripped down set in St. Martin’s Church, the production has to rely chiefly on the acting talents of the ensemble, and this is a great cast who bring Miller’s work to exuberant life.

Set in 1950s America near the Brooklyn Bridge, Eddie, the tragic protagonist, has an unhealthy interest in Catherine, his wife Beatrice’s orphaned niece. When the family welcome two illegal immigrants into their home, the courtship of Catherine by Beatrice’s cousin, Rodolpho, brings out uncontrollable jealousy in Eddie. In the lead role, Tim Freeman gives the performance of his career, a bear of a man, walking with a gait that becomes more pronounced as his jealousy cripples his life and marriage. The interest in Catherine is never portrayed sexually, but here the performance makes clear how it not only poisons Eddie, but those around him and his neighbourhood. The evening, however, belongs to Sara Jane Derrick as Beatrice, from the outset anxious about the arrival of the immigrants, but, as her performance makes clear as the play progresses, she is a woman who has always known about Eddie’s interest in Catherine, and does what she needs to do to survive that. Let your eyes fall on her at any point in the production, this is a woman tortured yet committed to saving her marriage- mesmerising work. For the first time in viewing this play many times, I really felt that Eddie was a symbol of fascism, reflecting Italy’s then still fresh past.

A View From The Bridge Protocol Theatre

This, however, is a terrific ensemble. Making her professional debut, Ella D’Arcy Jones is a strong Catherine, innocent and naive, yet becoming as determined as Eddie to carve out her own future. Jacko Pook is a beautiful, gentle Rodolpho, sensitive to his surroundings and initially to Eddie’s authority, yet becoming a man prepared to fight for love. Jonathan Davis links the play together very well as narrator Alfieri, and, although it may seem strange that the production had three directors, Richard Bland, Joseph Lyndon and Movement Director Alice Murray have used the space beautifully.  There are areas that needed some further work to make this a complete production, occasionally the acoustics of the venue, together with some convincing accents, conspire against clarity, and some of the smaller roles could have been brought out more. However, this is a true and gripping rendition of Miller’s play, and bodes well for future productions.

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ABOUT BRITISHTHEATRE

BritishTheatre.com
Opening Night Media Ltd
3rd Floor, 80 St. Martin’s Lane
Covent Garden
London WC2N 4AA

The British Theatre website has been established to celebrate the rich and diverse theatrical culture of the United Kingdom.  Our ethos revolves around encouraging and nurturing the performing arts in all its forms. The spirit of theatre is very much alive and the British Theatre website is at the forefront of delivering news and information to audiences and enthusiasts everywhere. Our team of theatre journalists and reviewers are working hard to cover productions and news.


We are constantly developing the site and are always open to receiving feedback from our readers. Join our mailing list to be kept informed of all the latest news that is of interest to you..