View's Daisy Boulton On... Arthur Miller, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Twitter trending

View's Daisy Boulton On... Arthur Miller, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Twitter trending

Monday, 2 March 2015

A View from the Bridge's Daisy Boulton on playing Catherine, doing a Brooklyn accent, remembering Arthur Miller and Philip Seymour Hoffman, and what she thinks of her character's future with Rodolpho. Will it be wedded bliss?

Tell us about your character, Catherine. Who is she and what motivates her?
Catherine is an orphan. She feels she owes everything to her aunt and uncle but in particular, her uncle, Eddie Carbone. He is her God; her everything. She adores him like a little girl adores her father but in a more intense, guilty sense because without him, she would have nothing. What motivates her in the play is, first of all, going out to work and being able to finally give back and help Eddie who has 'broken his back' to make ends meet and in particular for her. What quickly then becomes her motivation is for Eddie to approve of her growing relationship with Rodolpho. She wants to be with Rodolpho but doesn't want to lose Eddie. She begins to realise this is impossible and has to face the most painful, deepest challenge of her life; letting go of Eddie Carbone and by doing that, transitioning from a girl into a woman. 

Why did you want to accept this role in this production?
It's a dream part by one of the greatest writers that ever lived. The play is a gift. I only hope to serve the words as Miller intended and to do his most human and deep writing justice. 

Have you done any research for the role?
Research feels quite private and personal. There is the necessary factual research; political, economic and social understanding of New York in the 1950s which I did prior to coming into rehearsals. The other stuff is drawing on my own experience and understanding of things and applying my imagination to dive into the shoes of a working class, orphaned 17-year-old girl, living with her aunt and uncle in Brooklyn, New York in 1950. But yes- I guess research never stops, it grows, expands, deepens hopefully. 

How hard is it to do a Brooklyn accent?
Hard! But with Yvonne Morley (voice coach)  at the helm, we have been very lucky... Well, you can judge! It's such a part of the writing and actor's intentions that it ultimately helps I think.

What’s been the highlight of rehearsals for the play? Funniest anecdote?
I can't say!!! But Stephen Unwin's and Michael Brandon's stories! 

What are you most looking forward to about touring?
Being out of London and being completely immersed in the play on its own. It will be over too soon. 

This year marks the centenary of Arthur Miller’s birth. What birthday message would you send to Miller if he were here?
My message would be to thank Arthur Miller for writing about what I believe to be one of the most beautiful and tragic inner conflicts for humanity; the fear of being 'wholly known' and his ability to bravely expose it and touch people on a universal level. I would also say to him to celebrate Phillip Seymour Hoffman's Willy Loman in A Death of a Salesman on Broadway a couple of years ago- I think he understood and delivered Miller's work with magical perfection and I think of his performance every day that I work on our play. 

You’ve been tweeting up a storm about A View from the Bridge. What’s the reaction been on Twitter? 
Supportive and playful response. I guess it creates an inclusiveness to the creative process which is great. Everyone's involved that way.

The play ends before Catherine and Rodolpho get married. Do you think the wedding goes ahead? What do you predict for the couple’s future?
Yes, they get married. They move forward with their lives. Not without remembering, but they are creating a future for themselves. They must. No matter how desperate and dark it feels, they must.

Why should people come see this production?
To see one of the greatest plays written and to go on a journey with us that we as a company are collectively very moved by and therefore hope to move our audience members in each of their own individual ways. 

A View from the Bridge opened at Theatre Royal, Nottingham, where it ran from 4 to 7 March 2015. It then toured to Cheltenham, Darlington, Wolverhampton, Bradford, Coventry and Edinburgh, where it concluded on 2 May.