by Patrick Hamilton
Directed by Katie Liddicoat
Scenic and Lighting Design by
Costume Design by Monica French
NOTE: THE THURSDAY NIGHT PERFORMANCE IS SOLD OUT.
October 12-14, 2017 (Thursday-Saturday) - 7:30 p.m.
October 15, 2017 (Sunday) - 2:00 p.m.
Seniors & Students: $10.00
In the tradition of heavyweight thrillers from
Hitchcock, Christie and Priestley, "Gas Light" is
a genre-defining, sensationally suspenseful, all-round
elegant masterpiece. This superb mystery-thriller will
have you on the edge of your seat.
The play is set in fog-bound London in 1880 at the upper
middle class home of Jack Manningham and his wife Bella.
It is late afternoon, a time which Hamilton notes as
being the time "before the feeble dawn of gaslight and
At the opening of the drama Bella is clearly on edge,
and the stern reproaches from her overbearing husband
(who flirts with the servants) makes matters worse. What
most perturbs Bella is Jack's unexplained disappearances
from the house: he will not tell her where he is going,
and this increases her anxiety. As the drama unfolds, it
becomes clear that Jack is intent on convincing Bella
that she is going insane, even to the point of assuring
her she is "imagining" the gas light in the house is
The appearance of a police detective called Rough soon
leads Bella to realise that Jack is responsible for her
torment. Rough explains that the apartment above was
once occupied by one Alice Barlow, a wealthy woman who
was murdered for her jewels but that the murderer never
In fact, Jack goes to the flat each night to search for
the jewels, and lighting the gaslights in it causes the
lights to dim in the rest of the building. His footsteps
in what is supposed to be an empty apartment are used to
make Bella believe that she is hearing things. Rough
convinces Bella to assist him in exposing Jack as the
murderer, which she does, but not before she takes
revenge on Jack by pretending to help him escape. At the
last minute she reminds him that, having gone insane,
she is not accountable for her actions. The play closes
with Jack Manningham being led away by the police.
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