Photo from National Theatre Live (A Young Vic production). Michael Gould (lawyer) and Mark Strong (Eddie Carbone) Centre stage.
Written in 1955, this play has had several rewritings where the ending especially has taken on different forms. This London version corresponds to the final published version where Eddie dies in his wife’s arms. Especially after the 1942 film starring Raf Vallone, the play became a classic of cinematic neo realism or even Zola-like naturalism that we always associate Miller’s dramaturgy . Miller’s stark naturalism fore grounds the complex psychology of the characters and here, Ivo Van Hove captures the deeply troubling psychological turmoil of Eddie Carbone the Longshoreman and patriarch of his New York family composed of Beatrice his wife, Catherine his niece , 2 young illeagal Sicilian immigrant cousins Rodolpho and Marco. As a relationship develops between Catherine and Rodolpho, Carbone’s hostility to this young man turns the uncle into a tense, brooding , jealous, angry creature who ultimately gives in to a most hateful gesture that has tragic consequences. The question of Illeagal immigration is dealt with in the play, as the director mentions in a preshow interview, and that is what gives the event a certain immediacy in relation to recent events in the United States.