Peter Gill directs a cast, including Rosamund Pike and Kenneth Cranham, in Gaslight, the powerful story of a young woman psychologically dominated by her husband. While Jack Manningham is out on the town each evening, his wife, Bella (Pike), stays at home alone, believing she’s losing her mind: she can’t explain the disappearance of familiar objects, the mysterious footsteps overhead or the ghostly flickering of living room gaslights. However, questions about Jack’s behaviour and true identity are aroused following the unexpected arrival of Detective Rough (Cranham).
Gaslight was first staged in 1938 and was filmed twice: a British version in 1940, directed by Thorold Dickinson, and an MGM version in 1944, directed by George Cukor, which won Ingrid Bergman an Oscar for her performance.
As well as his other great play, Rope (filmed by Hitchock), Patrick Hamilton wrote novels including Hangover Square and Twenty Thousand Streets Under the Sky. He was well thought of by his contemporaries, Graeme Greene and JB Priestley amongst others, and there’s been a recent revival of interest for his work among modern audiences following a season of films at the NFT and a BBC adaptation of Twenty Thousand Streets in 2005.
Rosamund Pike was last seen on stage in Summer and Smoke in the West End and Hitchcock Blonde at the Royal Court, and received outstanding critical acclaim for both. She is known internationally for her roles in films including Pride and Prejudice, The Libertine (Best Supporting Actress at the British Independent Film Awards 2005 for her role opposite Johnny Depp) and the James Bond blockbuster Die Another Day. She will shortly be seen in Fracture, a legal thriller, with Anthony Hopkins and Ryan Gosling.
Kenneth Cranham has an extensive career on stage, film and television; he was most recently seen in Endgame at The Gate and The UN Inspector at the National Theatre. Other theatre credits include An Inspector Calls (NT), School For Scandal (RSC) and The Novice (The Almeida). He has appeared in numerous films including Layer Cake, The Boxer, Chocolat and Hot Fuzz, and plays the role of Pompey Magnus in HBO’s epic television series, Rome.
Gaslight is directed by Peter Gill whose production of The Voysey Inheritance was recently seen at the National Theatre. A director as well as a writer, he has directed more than 80 productions in the UK, Europe and North America. At the Royal Court in the 1960s, he was responsible for introducing DH Lawrence’s plays to the theatre, and was the founding director of Riverside Studios and the National Theatre Studio. Classical plays directed include Romeo and Juliet (RSC); Uncle Vanya
(Field Day Tour) and The Way of the World (Lyric Theatre Hammersmith). New plays directed include Scenes From The Big Picture by Owen McCafferty (NT) and Speed The Plough by David Mamet (West End). He has also directed a number of his own plays including The York Realist (Royal Court), Certain Young Men (Almeida Theatre), Cardiff East and Friendly Fire (NT).
The production is designed by Hayden Griffin who has worked on 30 world premieres, including plays by Bond, Osborne, Hare, Brenton, Miller and Mamet, and designed for opera, ballet, film and tv.