Gaslight by Patrick Hamilton
Wednesday 25th to Saturday 28th April 2007
Arc Theatre, Trowbridge
1880: London in the fog. The gaslights cannot dispel the shadows in the home of the recently married Mr and Mrs Manningham. Why do the lights mysteriously rise and fall of their own accord? Who prowls the attic at night? Is Mrs Manningham losing her sanity, or is her life in deadly danger?
Though the play was written in 1938 and is often billed as a “Victorian thriller”, Gaslight continues to offer two hours of absorbing yet escapist entertainment. While the plot revolves around hidden jewels, the dramatic interest is in Hamilton’s study of psychological disorder and the play can be seen as a bridge between the plot-driven Victorian melodrama and the modern, more psychological thrillers of Frederick Knott and Alfred Hitchcock.