A View from the Bridge: English Department's Play in a Day | Epsom College
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A View from the Bridge: English Department’s Play in a Day

On Tuesday, six members of the Fifth Form produced a play-in-a-day resulting in a memorable, moving performance of A View from the Bridge before a packed Main Hall in the Cultural Hour.

Will Swan (C), Meredith Briggs (Rv), Solomon Ekoku (Fa), Madeleine Fairbank (M), Barney Fildes (P) and Oliver Mullen (P) spent their Christmas holidays learning lines from Arthur Miller’s classic post-war play – a tragic tale of family betrayal and forbidden love amongst Italian immigrants in New York – in readiness for their intense ‘play-in-a day’ experience.

The cast met for the first time at 8.30am on Tuesday and immediately set to work under the direction of Mr Paul Lowden, a recently retired English teacher who previously led a workshop on the text for the whole Fifth Form in the Michaelmas Term. Throughout the day, they spent hour after hour bringing the text to life: lines were given tone, meaning and texture, significant silences and moments of eye contact were discovered, and the full implications of certain lines were realised. Appropriate props and costume, helpfully provided by the Drama Department, took the piece to a new level and by 6.15pm, remarkably, they were ready to perform a full workshop production.

There was not a spare seat in Main Hall as almost the whole of the Fifth Form along with Upper Fourth Drama students, came to watch. The audience was immediately hooked as the familiar sound of Alicia Keys’ Empire State of Mind blared around Main Hall. The lyrics, ‘these streets will make you feel brand new/Big lights will inspire you/Let’s hear it for New York, New York, New York’, made it an apt choice for a play that explores the pitfalls of the American Dream in a poor Brooklyn neighbourhood.

A kitchen table bedecked in the stars and stripes served as the focal point of simmering tensions in the Carbone family. Solomon Ekoku was clear and authoritative as the local lawyer and narrator Alfieri, while Will Swan captured Eddie’s disquieting mix of tenderness and physicality perfectly. Ollie Mullen and Barney Fildes provided some light comic relief with their, somewhat, convincing accents and conveyed the essence of the distant cousins from Italy, Marco and Rodolpho. Madeleine Fairbank was formidable as the long-suffering housewife Beatrice, and Meredith Briggs was magnificent as the precocious adolescent daughter, Catherine.

The students put on a fantastic show that managed to distil Arthur Miller’s classic play into 30 minutes of suspense and elation that served the Fifth Form a strong double-dose of education and entertainment. All involved should be highly commended for their efforts.

By Mr Nick Russell and Mr Ciaran Lee

The cast said…

“Overall I found the A View from The Bridge experience to be challenging yet rewarding, it took a lot of time and effort but the performance was worthwhile as the positive feedback that the cast received was fantastic.”

Meredith Briggs


“Throughout the day a mixture of excitement and nerves clashed inside of me, helping me to put on a performance to remember. By acting this out, I got a better understanding of the text as it was written to be performed, preparing me nicely for the upcoming exams.”

Solomon Ekoku


“I found the overall experience incredibly eye-opening into looking at the play in-depth, giving me a true understanding of the play as a whole which I can’t wait to reflect in my future literature exam. It was also great experience working with a professional director!”

Madeleine Fairbank


“The play was very rewarding for me it allowed me to understand the play more because I was able to play one of the main characters. Furthermore, I was with such a great cast of people which allowed the story to be shown at a high standard. As a result this play was a very good experience for me.”

William Swan