Barb Barnett’s rendition of Hamilton’s Victorian thriller Gaslight cleverly combines the 19th century values in which the play was set while touching on contemporary issues such as domestic abuse. The members of The Canberra Repertory Theatre showed their wonderful talent through the brilliant wit of English writer Patrick Hamilton.
The play gives us three great things: a smart and sometimes feisty damsel played by Kate Blackhurst to feel sorry for; a hero in the form of a fatherly figure/retired policeman brilliantly played by Pat Gallagher to cheer for; and a nasty little *insert expletive* of a villain to hate played by Peter Holland, who rocks a magnificent mo. These characters are supported by the two maids, one who is the picture of loyalty and the other the type of maid you’d find doing any other activity but cleaning in the bedroom.
The characters are placed in a beautiful set created by Ian Crocker and the stunning costumes of Helen Drum. For me, the highlight of the show has to be the curtain and old theatre gas lamps at the foot of the stage. While the costumes and set create the scene of a Victorian thriller, it is the footlights and the curtain that truly transport you to a different time, offering an experience that television simply cannot provide.
However, it is not just the play which gives you the experience; it’s the night out as a whole. With under 30’s Tickets sold at the door for $20 it offers a fun and affordable night out and it is only a stone’s throw away from The School of Arts building on campus. It also offers the excuse to drab up, look good and maybe throw on something cool and vintage that you might not always get to wear. But most importantly, it offers you a good time.
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