A MYSTERY of dimming gaslight and footsteps in the night, matched with the timeless theme of marital manipulation, form the basis of a popular Victorian thriller on show at Limelight Theatre this autumn.
Written by Patrick Hamilton and directed by Karen Tropiano, Gaslight is set in 1880 and focuses on the Manninghams – suave Jack Manningham is slowly psychologically torturing his wife Bella into insanity.
When she is visited by Inspector Rough, he convinces her that Jack is a maniacal criminal wanted for a murder committed 15 years ago.
Bella then gains confidence in herself, as she works with the inspector to build up evidence against her husband.
“I wanted to do something that would appeal to the Limelight Theatre audience,” Tropiano said.
“Gaslight is a well-known classic and most would remember the film starring Ingrid Bergman and Charles Boyer made in the 1940s.”
Performing with Limelight and Stirling Theatres for more than 20 years, Tropiano has also directed numerous plays including Secret Bridesmaids’ Business, Play On, Lend Me A Tenor and Abigail’s Party.
She directed Nunsense in 2009, named runner-up best musical at the annual Finley Awards and production of the year at the Limelight Theatre Awards, and also staged the sequel Nunsense II in 2014, winner of the Finley Award for best set.
In 2012, Tropiano directed Cash On Delivery, named one of the top 10 plays of the year at the Finley Awards, also winning an award for its washing machine effect
Abigail’s Party also scored her a certificate for authenticity at the Finley Awards the following year.
“With Gaslight, the lighting is imperative to evoke the right mood so that’s the main challenge with this show,” Tropiano said.
Gaslight plays at 8pm March 31, April 1, 2, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15 and 16. Tickets are $21, $18 concession – book on 0499 954 016 between 9am and midday, Monday to Friday, or at www.limelighttheatre.com.
Limelight Theatre is located on Civic Drive, Wanneroo.
gaslight1: Jack Manningham (Andrew Govey) psychologically torments his wife Bella (Emma Shaw) in the Victorian thriller Gaslight.
gaslight2: Inspector Rough (Chris Juckes, right) comes to the aid of Bella (Emma Shaw) in Gaslight at Limelight Theatre.
gaslight3: The cheeky housemaid Nancy (Ellie Bawden, right) tests the patience of Bella (Emma Shaw) in Gaslight.
gaslight4: Bella (Emma Shaw) seeks the friendly ear of maid Elizabeth (Colleen Hopkins) in Gaslight at Limelight Theatre.
The Limelight Theatre in Wanneroo, Western Australia, is the home of the Wanneroo Repertory Inc.
P: 0422 502 212