|The final scene
Photos by Guy Atkinson
A View From The Bridge - a review
The secondary school's production of A View From The Bridge was further proof that drama at St Julian's is in exceptionally
rude health. Darren Scully's choice of Miller's tale of passion and betrayal at the height of Italian immigration to New York
in the 1940s, set his ensemble a considerable challenge - any cop-outs here would have been painfully exposed which they
met with consummate skill and great commitment.
Scully continues to defy logic by making a silk purse out of a pigs ear in terms of his use of space. On this occasion
he had enlisted the support of venerable stage designer Terry Williams, and together they created four separate acting spaces
each at a different level and angle of view for the audience. The action could thus continue uninterrupted by scene breaks
and set changes, which went some way to ensuring that the pace never slackened and the emotional engagement with the audience
Accomplishing this would not have been possible, however, without the technical excellence and emotional commitment of
the acting. This was especially true in the exchanges between Eddie, played by Simão Cayatte, and his niece Catherine, played
by Simão's sister Iris. If that last sentence confuses, the filial ties probably helped these two pull off the toughest of
jobs in conveying the tensions involved in a complex and tragic relationship. Simão produced a technically solid performance
that perfectly encapsulated the paranoia and denial of a man on the edge, whilst Iris was entirely credible as the exasperated
object of his unspoken desire. The triangle was completed with Viki McMillan's impressive portrayal of Beatrice - the frustrated
wife caught in the crossfire which revealed a quite exceptional level of maturity and control. Her volcanic outburst when
her patience with Eddie finally snaps was especially memorable.
Martim Vaz Pinto, as the lawyer/narrator Alfieri, provided the necessary gravitas (along with the most convincing New
York Italian accent) and accomplished Scullys desire for the audience to feel that sense of powerlessness and impending doom
integral to Greek tragedy. Roberto Ferrara, the natural blond playing the dark and menacing Marco, and the dark haired Bernie
Souza, as the frivolous blond Rodolpho, were equally effective as the touch papers in an already explosive concoction. Not
only does each possess great stage presence, but Robertos baritone delivery was precisely suited to the laconic Marco, whilst
Bernie was the original all-singing-all-dancing Rodolpho.
The support cast too played a key role in the success of the production with Ricardo Seabra, Damian Icely and Danny Ayash
especially playing their parts with great aplomb.
The haunting music (saxophone, flute and piano) and composite set evoked Elia Kazan's On the Waterfront and were also
essential ingredients of the heady mix.
Scully's greatest accomplishment lies in his giving his actors the confidence to achieve the emotional integrity of performance
that a play like A View From The Bridge demands. They gave them what he wanted again in this production and the result was
both highly accomplished and thoroughly enjoyable.