I wasn't planning on writing anything proper up on Mark Strong and A View From the Bridge because I'm not a theater critic and I don't see nearly enough of it to feign expertise on the subject - honestly I'm a little intimidated. When I write about film I can get away with the fact that I feel much more comfortable writing about the various crafts of film-making other than acting (lights, camera, full stop!) because words fail often fail me when it comes to What Actors Do - I feel like you just know it or you don't, whether they're doing their jobs or not, and talking about it always feels like when Guy describes that "involuntary reach" he did in "Luther and Nobody Loves and Albatross and lots of television plays and commercials." It makes my eyes roll.
Anyway I sure am taking the long way around to tell you that A View From the Bridge was one of the most moving experiences I've ever had in a theater setting, and it's not to be missed. I wasn't familiar at all with the play before seeing it here, and in lesser hands I feel as if the play as written might've felt like a too-familiar tale -- on Men, and Being A Man, and all that jazz -- but here, in the way its presented, it's revelatory. Whittled down to this platonic ideal of tragedy, timeless and inevitable, enormous and heartbreakingly intimate, it will remained seared itself onto my subconscious for a very, very long time. Buy tickets, people!
There's an interview with the show's director Ivo van Hove (I guess he did Juliette Binoche's recent turn at BAM in Antigone too... which I don't want to talk about because I didn't get out to see it, siiiiiiigh) over at Vanity Fair that's worth a read -- there are images I saw up on that stage that were so beautiful and haunting I don't think I'll ever shake them (and no I'm not just talking about half-naked Mark Strong and half naked-Russell Tovey).
I caught this when they broadcast it as part of National Theatre Live and I felt the same way. The production and Mark Strong just blew me away. I can just imagine seeing him shirtless in person...
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