Watford Palace Theatre Announces A Radical Re-imagining Of Patrick Hamilton's GASLIGHT
Watford Palace Theatre today announce a radical re-imagining of Patrick Hamilton's classic psychological thriller, Gaslight, directed by Richard Beecham. The production opens on 7 October with previews from 2 October and runs until 26 October.
Richard Beecham directs Patrick Hamilton's Gaslight, in which a husband attempts to convince his wife that she is going mad.
This bold new production transplants the action from Victorian London to a 21st century Safe House in which a group of women, fleeing domestic abuse, re-enact Hamilton's play. As the drama unfolds, the women's own experiences and emotions surface to cathartic effect. Together they discover the strength to begin building a brighter future.
The 1938 West End smash-hit gave rise to the term 'gaslighting' - a form of psychological abuse where one person attempts to manipulate another into questioning their own sanity.
Brigid Larmour, Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Watford Palace Theatre, said today, "Gaslight is a play of the moment. Issues of coercive control have become mainstream: the recent Archers storyline led to a national debate, alongside the ongoing impact of the #MeToo movement. The play itself has become part of this discussion: last year the idea of 'gaslighting', as a verb, was shortlisted by Collins Dictionary lexicographers for word of the year. So it felt to me like the right time for us to blow the cobwebs off this powerful and well established thriller. At Watford Palace Theatre we foreground women's stories, and we are proud of our unusually broad audience demographic. Our bold and emotionally honest production will allow us to explore these ideas with our wider community."
Richard Beecham, said today, "With the rise of the #MeToo movement, a spotlight has been shone like never before on toxic masculinity and the abuse suffered by women at the hands of men. So it seems to me absolutely the right time to revisit the original gaslighting drama 80 years on and to view it through a contemporary feminist lens. In our production out go the gas lamps, bonnets and bodices and in comes an ensemble of diverse women actors who will reclaim this story for 2019."
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Patrick Hamilton, in full Anthony Walter Patrick Hamilton (March 1904 - September 1962), was an English playwright and novelist. His playwrighting credits include Rope - adapted into the 1948 film by Alfred Hitchcock - and Gaslight, which opened in the West End and transferred to New York under the title of Angel Street. Gaslight was twice adapted for film, most famously in the 1944 version starring Ingrid Bergman. Hamilton's other credits include the novels Hangover Square and Twenty Thousand Streets Under the Sky.
Richard Beecham directs. He has directed a number of productions at Watford Palace Theatre, most recently his acclaimed revival of Arthur Miller's Broken Glass. Other credits include Playing for Time, starring Dame Sian Phillips (Sheffield Theatres), Rose, starring Dame Janet Suzman (HOME, Manchester), 84 Charing Cross Road, starring Stefanie Powers and Clive Francis (Cambridge Arts Theatre/UK tour), Driving Miss Daisy, starring Dame Sian Phillips and Derek Griffiths (Theatre Royal Bath/UK tour), the UK premieres of Red Light Winter and In A Garden (Ustinov Studio Bath), Henry IV Part 1 (Peter Hall Company at Theatre Royal Bath), Just Before the War, The Human Cost (Young Vic), Rutherford and Son (Northern Stage, Newcastle), Humble Boy, Dancing at Lughnasa, In Praise of Love (Royal & Derngate Northampton), The Invention of Love, The School for Scandal, The Miser, Side by Side by Sondheim (Salisbury Playhouse), A Taste of Honey, Neville's Island, How the Other Half Loves (Watford Palace Theatre), The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Private Lives, Charley's Aunt, Black Comedy/The Real Inspector Hound (Exeter Northcott Theatre), Early One Morning, Entertaining Mr Sloane (Octagon Theatre Bolton), The Bench (Battersea Arts Centre), Twelve Tales of Tyneside (Live Theatre, Newcastle), Romeo and Juliet (Creation Theatre Company, Oxford), A Midsummer Night's Dream (USF Florida), Much Ado About Nothing (Marlowe Society Cambridge), and the National Commemorative Event for Holocaust Memorial Day. Beecham's short film, The Guitar, won the Pears Short Film award at the London Jewish Film Festival.
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