|Written by:||Arthur Miller|
|Directed by:||Gregory Hersov|
|Run:||The Royal Exchange Theatre
April 2 – 25, 1992
Ashington Leisure Centre (Ashington), May 11-13, 1992
Mansfield Leisure Centre (Mansfield), May 15-18, 1992
Grimsby Leisure Centre (Grimsby), May 21-23, 1992
The Sands Centre (Carlisle), May 25-27, 1992
Kingsbridge Sports Centre (Kingsbridge), May 29 to June 2, 1992
Riverside Ice & Leisure Centre (Chelmsford), June 4-6, 1992
Shavington Sports Centre (Crewe), June 8-13, 1992
Alexander Sports Hall, Bedford College (Bedford), June 15-20, 1992
The main character in the story is Eddie Carbone, an Italian-American longshoreman who lives with his wife, Beatrice, and his orphaned niece, Catherine, in an insular, self-ruled neighbourhood known as a polis. As the play begins, Eddie is protective and kind towards Catherine, although his feelings become a bit more than avuncular as the play develops. His attachment to her is brought into perspective by the arrival from Italy of Beatrice’s two cousins, Marco and Rodolpho. They have entered the country illegally, hoping to leave behind hunger and unemployment for a better life in America. Whereas strongly built Marco left a starving family back home, charming Rodolpho is young, good-looking, blond and single, and can sing and dance. Catherine instantly falls for him.
After they have been dating for three weeks, Eddie sets about pointing out all of Rodolpho’s flaws to Catherine and Beatrice. He persistently complains that Rodolpho is not right because he sews, cooks and sings. He also dislikes Rodolpho’s reputation for singing during work.
When Catherine decides to marry Rodolpho, Eddie becomes desperate and asks his lawyer Alfieri (who is also the narrator) for help. He learns that the only way the law can help him is by him informing the authorities of the presence of the two illegal immigrants. However, he considers it an honour to give the men refuge, and refuses to betray them. At home, he continues passively insulting Rodolpho, and ends up getting him to fight in a boxing match. In retaliation, Marco challenges Eddie to lift a chair from the bottom of its leg, and when Eddie fails to do this, Marco picks up the chair with one hand from the bottom of its leg and lifts it above his head, proving himself to be mentally and physically stronger than Eddie.
In Act II, Eddie catches Rodolpho making love to Catherine, and sees Alfieri a second time. Eddie ignores his lawyer’s advice to let events run their course, and calls Immigration. This betrayal proves disastrous: He comes back to learn that Catherine and Rodolpho are engaged, and Beatrice informs him that another two illegal immigrants have moved into the apartment upstairs. When the Immigration officers arrive and arrest the four immigrants, Marco spits in Eddie’s face in front of a street full of people. His betrayal of the two men causes Eddie to lose the respect of his neighbours, his friends and his family.
Rodolpho is allowed to stay in the country because of his marriage, but Marco faces deportation. Reluctantly, he promises Alfieri not to take revenge on Eddie (as is Sicilian custom) and is released on bail. In the final scene of the play, Eddie is furious with his humiliation and refuses to attend the wedding. He rejects Rodolpho’s offer of reconciliation and refuses to get out of the house when he learns that Marco is arriving.
The play ends with a fight between Eddie and Marco, in a street full of friends and family. Eddie brandishes a knife and attacks Marco, who turns the blade onto Eddie, killing him. It is not known whether Marco actually intended to stab Eddie, and his reaction is not described. Eddie dies as the curtain falls, calling out to Beatrice.
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