Gaslight (UK Tour), New Victoria Theatre | Review

Tuesday 24 January 2017

"Gaslight is full of suspense and has palpable moments of edge of the seat tension"

New Victoria Theatre
Reviewed on Tuesday 23rd January 2017 by Melanie Mitchell

Written by Patrick Hamilton, Gaslight, which places its roots firmly in melodrama, was first performed in 1938 and has been revived frequently since. The story of power, control and manipulation in a relationship, is as relevant now as it has ever been. Anthony Banks' production which relies heavily on the small cast is well staged and Banks manages to bring humour to this otherwise bleak drama. 

The events unfold in the eeriness of the gas lit drawing room in Jack and Bella Manningham’s Victorian house. The set and lighting are amazingly atmospheric, adding perfectly to the sense of fear and anticipation felt by the audience. With only one room used throughout there is not the usual impact brought along by scene changes but the well dressed set provides a wealth of new and exciting things to look at.

Kara Tointon is perfectly cast as Bella, playing the part of the emotionally abused wife, with an absolutely believable fragility and vulnerability accompanied by moments of innate feistiness. It is clear why Tointon is becoming the star of stage she is destined to be and it is very enjoyable to watch her in such a dark drama compared to her recent, lighter role of Maria Von Trapp in The Sound of Music Live.

Rupert Young gives an outstanding performance. He is completely despicable as Jack Manning the coercive, cruel and calculating husband. His manipulative, menacing character is truly hateful. 

Charlotte Blackledge is completely believable as Nancy the conniving, jealous maid who has her sights set on something better. 

Elizabeth the loyal Housekeeper is played by Helen Anderson who brings a sense of warmth and humour to the part. 

Keith Allen is a triumph as Inspector Rough, bringing just the right amount of wit and humour to the role without making it farcical. 

This psychological thriller, with palpable moments of edge of the seat tension is a real must see production.

Gaslight is currently touring the UK. Visit ATG tickets to book for a venue near you.