Tension and suspense in classic thriller

Jo Croft as Bella and James Trapp as Jack in Gaslight
Jo Croft as Bella and James Trapp as Jack in Gaslight

Classic psychological thriller Gaslight comes to the Little Theatre in Dunstable next week courtesy of Dunstable Rep.

Patrick Hamilton’s play, set in Victorian London, was first produced in 1938 in London’s West End and later filmed twice, in Britain and the USA, with Ingrid Bergman winning an Oscar for her portrayal of Bella Manningham in the later version.

The tense plot centres around the young, attractive and troubled Bella, wife of Jack Manningham who is slowly and deliberately driving her insane. He has almost succeeded when help arrives in the form of a former detective, Rough, who believes Manningham to be a thief and a murderer.

Director Alan Clarke said: “It’s an extremely well-written play and even though it’s categorised as a Victorian melodrama, it still stands up just as well today as it did when it was first staged in 1938.

“The first time I saw it I was riveted and quite honestly did not want the break at the interval, so involved was I in the action and story.

“With a play like this, it’s a fine line between delivering an old-hat and hammy performance and a tense and suspenseful one. However, I fully believe in my cast and I have no doubt they will hit every vital theatrical note that the text demands.”

Dunstable Rep will perform Gaslight from Friday, March 11, to Saturday, March 19, at 7.45pm nightly (no performance Sunday, March 13).

Call 07940 105864 or email dunstablerepboxoffice@gmail.com to book.