‘Gaslight’ – Hilltop Theatre
9th March 2018
Pentyrch Village Hall
Author: Allan Mears
Gaslight is a Victorian thriller
written by Patrick Hamilton in 1938, set in 1880’s
London. This period piece set entirely in the drawing
room of the Manningham residence, which had been adeptly
and yet modestly recreated in a fine set.
The focus in this play is on the
leading lady, and Melanie McLeod sustained creditably
the character of Bella Manningham, as she was by turns
coaxed and tormented by her husband Jack Manningham ably
played by Martyn Foster Lewis who gave a mature
performance as the evil, distrustful, overbearing
husband, who has a dark secret from his past and who was
also prone to flirting with the servants.
The very contrasting character of
Rough, played very ably by Dai Williams, gave us a
feeling of security amidst all the confusion of Bella
and Jack’s emotions, supported by Fiona Bishop as
Elizabeth who had a very difficult task in trying to
appease Manningham while at the same time supporting
Bella. Slightly hesitant in responses, whilst thinking
how best to answer and keep Bella safe, and Laura Hallas
as the saucy maid Nancy was bright and quite
disrespective of her Mistress, had her eye on the Master
who gave her every encouragment.
Diction was excellent from all on
stage, so important in this very wordy play.
Directors Sian Williams and Hilary
Evans have been fortunate to have some very talented
actors at their disposal and the production team’s
experience showed in this memorable play.
The box set was really well
constructed with well positioned entrances and the set
‘dressing’ nicely depicting the era in which this drama
was played out. Lighting effects were excellent and ‘on
cue’ as the necessary dimming took place. The music used
enabled that tense feeling to continue throughout. The
costumes were all suited to the era, and were well
thought out, complimenting the characters.