PREVIEW By Steve Cooke
A new production for our times of Arthur Miller’s classic, A View from the Bridge will open on Friday 8 September at the Octagon Theatre Bolton.
On the Brooklyn waterfront, where the fierce passions of ancestral Sicily linger, the orphaned Catherine falls for her handsome, newly arrived cousin Rodolpho – an illegal migrant. Their romance is encouraged by her aunt Beatrice but stirs complex feelings in her uncle, Eddie Carbone. As tensions rise, their story spins inexorably beyond control.
Acclaimed stage and screen actor, Jonathan Slinger (Hamlet, Macbeth at The RSC, Crave at Chichester Festival Theatre, Charlie, and the Chocolate Factory in the West End) will play the role of Eddie, marking his first time on stage in an Arthur Miller production. He is joined by Nancy Crane (Inside Man BBC, Suspicion Apple TV, Summer & Smoke, Chimerica at the Almeida / West End) who will be the first woman to play the role of Alfieri in a new production that looks at the psychology of the play and its gender politics afresh.
Jonathan Slinger said, “I am thrilled to be working with the highly acclaimed Headlong Theatre and Artistic Director, Holly Race Roughan on what will be my first time taking to the professional stage in a piece by the great Arthur Miller. Being from Lancashire myself, Bolton’s Octagon Theatre is a theatre close to my heart and the ideal venue for us to debut this fascinating new production that examines Arthur Miller’s classic text.”
Nancy Crane added; "Holly’s production is going to be a new perspective on one of Arthur Miller’s best-known plays. I’m excited to be the first woman to play Alfieri and can’t wait to see what it does to the play’s themes of masculinity and toxic masculinity. A modern-day Greek tragedy about love and identity and belonging and revenge, it seems to me incredibly relevant in 2023.”
They are joined by Kirsty Bushell (Richard III at the RSC, Angels in America for Headlong, King Lear at Chichester) as Beatrice, Rachelle Diedericks (The Crucible, Our Generation at the NT/Chichester, Andor for Disney+) as Catherine, Elijah Holloway in his professional stage debut as Louis/Immigration Officer, Luke Newberry (When Winston Went to War with the Wireless at Donmar Warehouse, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Macbeth at The RSC/Barbican) as Rodolpho, Tommy Sim’aan (Vigil, The Tempest at The RSC, Starcrossed at Wilton's Music Hall) as Marco and Lamin Touray (Bouncers UK Tour, Shakespeare in the Squares, Coronation Street) as Mike/Immigration Officer.
The brand-new production will be directed by Headlong Artistic Director Holly Race Roughan.
Holly said; “Quite honestly, A View from the Bridge remains one of the most extraordinary plays I have ever read, and it is an honour to be co-producing it alongside some of the country’s most important theatres.”
“Mounting the first major revival in the UK for nearly a decade, I am eager to explore its startlingly relevant themes with today’s audiences: the human price of a country’s immigration policies, ripping into the personal roar of suppressed feelings and the tenderness of romantic love. As with all my work, I am very interested in the thin membrane between the unconscious and the conscious.”
“I am also excited by the play’s brutal and honest exploration of masculinity and how that sits with a modern audience. By casting Alfieri as a woman I hope to illuminate further the presence of the ‘feminine' emotional intelligence in the play, and its offer to help build a new kind of masculinity.”
The full creative team includes Emily Ling Williams - Associate Director, Moi Tran - Set and Costume, Mona Camille - Set and Costume Associate, Max Perryment - Composer and Sound Designer, Keegan Curan - Sound Associate, Alex Fernandes - Lighting Designer, Malik Nashad Sharpe - Movement Director, Aundrea Fudge - Voice and Dialect Coach, Kev McCurdy - Fight Director and Yarit Dor - Intimacy Director.
Friday 8 - Saturday 30 September
Octagon Theatre, Howell Croft South, Bolton BL1 1SB
Phone: 01204 520661