Review: Thrilling - Gaslight is a Shaw hit

Gaslight comes the Peterborough New Theatre on October 21-26'Photo: Paul Coltas.
Gaslight comes the Peterborough New Theatre on October 21-26'Photo: Paul Coltas.

Gaslight, which opened at Peterborough New Theatre last night, begins in a Victorian house, where we follow the tale of Bella and Jack Manningham and the creepy goings on there.

Based on, Patrick Hamilton’s novel of the same name, it helped pen the term for the psychological term “gaslighting”.

Though the play began as a slow-burner it soon heated up towards the end of the first act.

The steady beginning helps to establish the story, and with some patience all soon becomes clear.

With a number of shocking twists in the tale of Bella and her husband Jack Manningham, their relationship not as happily married as though it may seem to the outside world.

It’s clear from the offset that Bella (Charlotte Emmerson) is besotted by her husband, despite her ‘insane tricks’.

Emmerson astounds in her role, as she convinces usher husband, Jack (James Wilby), is not so adoring and has a cool demeanor which adds to his controlling nature.

Wilby’s stage presence is commanding as he uses all of the space to his advantage, adding power to his performance.

Items going missing, furniture moving- the key tells of any Victorian horror story.

However when Inspector Rough (Martin Shaw) knocks on the door, only then does all start to become clear.

Shaw provides some light comic relief to the incredibly dark goings-on, while still leading the production. His Rough, and perhaps Shaw himself might suggest a tipple of whiskey to settle your nerves!

First staged in 1938, the show still resonates with audiences 80 years on. The psychological thriller left the audience gasping and literally jumping out of their seats, it is a sure fire hit for any theatre lover.

Gaslight runs until Saturday, October 26. Tickets from £19.50 can be bought from the New Theatre box office or www.newtheatre-peterborough.com