Saturday, May 18, 2024

SUBJECT TO CHANGE - QL2 Dance


"Alpha Beta"  choreographed by Alisdair Macindoe

Choreographed by Gabrielle Nankivell, Alisdair Macindoe, Ruth Osborne OAM

Composed by Luke Smiles, Alisdair Macindoe- Adam Ventoura

Sound by Kimmo Vennonen – Lighting by Antony Hateley

Costume Design by Cate Clelland – Artistic Direction by Ruth Osborne OAM

Canberra Theatre Centre Playhouse, 16th to 18th May 2024

Performance on 16th May reviewed by BILL STEPHENS.


The title of this program is particularly significant in that it signals the last production that retiring Artistic Director; Ruth Osborne OAM will produce for QL2 Dance.  Osborne has been Artistic Director of QL2 Dance for the last 25 years and during that time has established the organisation as a leader in innovative youth dance, earning it an international reputation along the way.

Handing over the leadership of the company to incoming Artistic Director, Alice Lee Holland, represents a huge personal change for Osborne, and as has been her practice for her annual Playhouse seasons to set a theme for each program for her choreographers and dancers to explore, it was no surprise that this year’s theme was ‘change in our lives and how we deal with it.

The Quantum Leap ensemble for 2024 consisted of 25 young Canberra-based artists aged 13 to 23, and following her normal practice, Osborne has engaged experienced professional choreographers and composers work with this year’s ensemble to create three works to the chosen theme.

This year the choreographers were Alisdair Macindoe, Gabrielle Nankivell and Ruth Osborne herself.


"Kaleidoscope" choreographed by Gabrielle Nankivell


Gabrielle Nankivell’s work Kaleidoscope opened the program. Created to a soundscape composed by Luke Smiles, Kaleidoscope consisted of a series of brief sequences separated by quick black-outs for which groups of dancers took the stage to form intricately choreographed tableaus in which they would resist, adapt and respond to each other as a recorded voiceover intoned comments on the impermanence of the universe.   

Although the impetus for the changes was not always obvious, the tight ensemble patterns demanded intense concentration from each dancer and were executed with an admirable sense of awareness by each dancer.

Alasdair Macondo created his own soundscape for his work Alpha Beta. In which he explored ideas of individualism and collectivism.  Commencing intriguingly with a row of lights being lowered, the dancers formed lines to slowly progress across the stage before suddenly stopping to pose.

Later they would form lines and advance on the audience before again stopping suddenly to touch their faces and exchange meaningful looks. Finally they began to move in circles which progressively got faster and faster as a mirror ball created dazzling patterns until one by one the dancers exited the stage.

"Voyage" choreographed by Ruth Osborne OAM


The final work which concluded the program was Voyage created by Ruth Osborne. In a typically generous Osborne gesture she credited seven young choreographers from QL2 Dance, Akira Byrne, Arshiya Abhishree, Calypso Efkarpidis, Jahna Lugnan, Julia Villaflor, Jemma Farrall and Maya Wille-Bellchambers as collaborators in creating the work.

While it’s not possible to identify the contributions of each of the young choreographers, Voyage contains all the hallmarks of Osborne’s signature choreography.

It’s a spectacular ensemble work involving all twenty-five members of the troupe for whom Cate Clelland designed attractive outfits consisting of brown trousers topped with neat white overshirts. 

As with all the works presented by QL2, there are no principal dancers, and because all the dancers are involved in the creative process, they take ownership of their involvement and perform even the most intricate moves with confidence and accuracy.

Voyage was performed to an emotive soundscape by Osborne’s preferred composer, Adam Ventoura, who has provided a succession of brilliant compositions for her creations over the years.

It was performed in front of spectacular film of the dancers performing against multi-layered images of themselves, created by another of Osborne’s frequent Osborne collaborators, Wildbear Digital.

Finally, there was Osborne’s much-admired signature finale, in which she references each work presented in the program, in a cleverly choreographed, joyously danced, celebratory bow.

With the handover of the Artistic Directorship, QL2 itself will be ‘subject to change’. However, by choosing her successor, Osborne has ensured she is leaving the organisation in safe hands. Therefore while dealing with her own response to change, Ruth Osborne OAM can look back with pride on her own significant dance legacy.

    

                                         Images by Olivia Wikner, O&J Photography 



      This review also published in AUSTRALIAN ARTS REVIEW. www.artsreview.com.au

Friday, May 17, 2024

GASLIGHT - Rodney Rigby, Queensland Theatre, Marriner Group and TEG

 

Geraldine Hakewill- Kate Fitzpatrick - Toby Schmitz in "Gaslight"

Written by Patrick Hamilton - Adapted by Johnna Wright and Patty Jamieson

Directed by Lee Lewis – Set and Costume Design by Renee Mulder

Lighting Design by Paul Jackson – Original music and Sound Design by Paul Charlier

Canberra Theatre 15th – 19th May 2024.

Performance on 15th May reviewed by BILL STEPHENS.


By any measure this is a beautiful production to watch. It’s immediately obvious that a great deal of care and attention has been lavished on every aspect of its preparation. Renee Mulder has designed a magnificent setting to represent the Victorian mansion that Jack Mannering and his wife Bela inhabit.  In fact so imposing and beautifully furnished that at first it’s difficult to imagine why Bela would be so unhappy to live there. 

Mulder’s costumes too are beautiful, particularly Bela’s first act housecoat, in which Geraldine Hakewill, as Bela, looks absolutely exquisite. Among her many talents, Hakewill knows how to wear costumes and in this play she does so magnificently.

The special effects are impressive. Gaslights which come on individually then fade whenever the gas level drops. Sunlight streams through the windows to signal that it’s morning and strange noises rattle unnervingly in the attic in the evenings. There’s unsettling music that warns of foreboding happenings.

The casting also could hardly be more perfect. Toby Schmitz is suitable suave and handsome as Jack Mannering. His clothes are meticulously tailored, his manners just a little too polished, and perhaps he’s just a little too familiar around the insolent young maid, played with flair by Courtney Cavallaro.  


Kate Fitzpatrick and Geraldine Hakewill in "Gaselight".


Kate Fitzpatrick in a welcome return to the stage is suitably efficient and circumspect as the all-seeing housekeeper. Geraldine Hakewill’s insecure Bela confides in her, but can she be trusted? Finally there’s the mysterious Alice Barlow, whom we never see, but whom it is revealed, was murdered in this house.

Everything necessary for a perfect Victorian melodrama is present and by interval the audience was completely hooked.

However on opening night, as the second act progressed, there was a sense that the cast were unsettled. Awkward pauses and revelations that were greeted with laughter rather than gasps, then finally a poorly executed finale which threatened to turn melodrama into slapstick, gave the impression that the play had been under-rehearsed.    

Perhaps it was to do with the writing, as this is an adaptation of Paul Hamilton's original play, or perhaps it has something to do with the subject matter of coercive control which now seems so prevalent as to make it difficult for a modern audience to accept that Bela would not have recognised this behaviour sooner, or having realised what was happening, as she apparently did, would have left herself so exposed.

Whatever the reason, hopefully this can be rectified quickly so that audiences will leave the theatre fulfilled  rather than scratching their heads.  


                                                             Images supplied.


     This review also published in AUSTRALIAN ARTS REVIEW. www.artsreview.com.au

  

NYE - NT LIVE

 


Nye.

Written by Tim Price. Directed by Rufus Norris. Set designer Vicki Mortimer.Costume designer Kinetia Isidore. Lighting designer Paul Constable. Co Choreographers Steven Hoggett and Jess Williams. Composer Will Stuart. Sound designer Donato Wharton. Projection designer Jon Driscoll. A National Theatre of Great Britain production.  Filmed for National Theatre Live and distributed by Sharmill Films. Dendy Canberra. May 16 2024. In cinemas from May 24 2024. 

Reviewed by Peter Wilkins



In celebration of its one hundredth NT Live production, the National Theatre presents its extraordinary production of Nye, the story of Aneurin Bevan streamed live from the Olivier Theatre in London. The film opens appropriately in a hospital ward where founder of the National Health, Aneurin Bevan has been operated on for a duodenal ulcer. A cancer has been discovered caused by his years as a miner in Wales. At his bedside his wife Jennie Lee, played by Sharon Small and school friend Archie Lush (Roger Evans) watch over Bevan (Michael Sheen) as doctors and nurses attend to him.

Tim Price’s play takes audiences on a surreal and vividly alive journey through Bevan’s life. Director Rufus Norris injects the action with exciting displays of physical theatre and imaginative use of hospital curtains on tracks to transition between scenes and provide a backdrop. Beds are used as benches, doors and platforms in a production that moves seamlessly through incidents and events that led to Bevan’s passionate belief in social justice and opportunity for the working class. A school scene erupts in insurrection when a sadistic teacher wields the cane on the stuttering Bevan until his loyal friend Lush intervenes. It is a friendship that will last throughout life. 

 

Sharon Small as Jessie Lee in Nye
Dressed only in red striped pyjamas, Sheen moves as though in a dream from scene to scene. In the library Lush introduces him to the notion of free access to books as  members of the ensemble lift them into the air to reach the imaginary shelves. Although seated in a cinema watching a filmed presentation, we are instantly transported to the live experience at the National Theatre. Norris’s direction and directorial techniques are entirely theatrical. The cameras catch the moment, drawing the actors to us with a sequence of shots that heighten the production’s impact.

In every scene we see a man obsessed with a sense of social justice, a fighter for equality and human rights, a fierce advocate for his people and his constituents, a campaigner against the vested and corporate interests and a Minister for Health in the Atlee Labour government with a vision for a national health that would treat people according to their illness rather than  their ability to pay. It is a vision that brought him into conflict with the British Medical Association, wartime Tory Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and members of his own party. His struggles against the forces of conservativism and the establishment are interspersed with scenes in the hospital where Lee and Lush confront the seriousness of his condition in an atmosphere of mutual antagonism. Price’s portrait of a man who nationalized the British health system and improved the state of the working people of his nation paints a man who is intensely human.

As Nye, Michael Sheen gives a remarkable performance, capable of arousing pity for the bullied schoolboy, struggling to face his father’s illness, bewitched by the acquisition of new knowledge, charmingly playful in his wooing of Jennie and steadfast in his resolve to overcome all opposition and emerge victorious in his lifelong quest for social justice through negotiation and political acumen. Sheen’s Nye dreams of a better world for all and shows the will and determination to make it come true. Sheen, the consummate actor, creates a monumental depiction of Aneurin Bevan. He is assisted by excellent performances from Small and Evans and a versatile ensemble.

Martin Sheen as Aneuring Bevan Minister for Health
Although Nye is an account of one man’s quest to change Britain’s health system and break through the barriers of privilege and the class system, Sheen’s inspirational performance, now immortalized in film, reflects the universality of the human condition. Nye is a film for all peoples. It is a call for reform and a roadmap to a better life. It is a testament to the power of passion and the will to make a dream come true.

During the interval there is a film celebrating the achievements of all involved in bringing NT Live to dozens of countries and millions of people over the past fifteen years since the initiative was introduced. It includes interviews with directors including Norris, directors of camera and film production, clips of past productions from Phaedre to Vanya and interviews with actors including Helen Mirren on Phaedre in 2009 and Ian McKellan in King Lear. Be sure to be back in time for this glimpse of NT Live history.

Photos by Johan Persson

 

 

Thursday, May 16, 2024

Navigating Histories

Exhibition Review: Photography | Brian Rope

Navigating Histories  | Ren Gregorčič, Phuong Le, Chris Siu, Estelle Yoon

Photo Access | 2 May – 1 June 2024

Weaving together stories from the past with their present-day echoes, Navigating Histories explores themes of displacement, resilience, and identity. The artists consider individuals and communities in transition through video, installation and documentary photography.   

This curated exhibition navigates the intricate webs of geopolitical complexities and historical legacies, mirroring how communities assert their narratives in new settings or amid changing landscapes at home, continuously adapting and redefining their connections to place  

Ren Gregorčič is  an Australian-Slovenian artist. His video work, Under the Foot of Neptune, explores the artificial symbolism of a human-constructed sculpture (in Florence, Italy) which interprets the Roman sea god Neptune and his aquatic creatures. The video focuses on the floodlights that illuminate that fountain, showing them as stylised stars. The same stars are also seen in his polaroids also on display. That work plus chairs made from recycled Blackbutt timber address the relationships between materiality and power.

Under the Foot of Neptune, 2022, polaroids by Ren Gregorčič

- installation shot by Eunie Kim


Phuong Le is an emerging Vietnamese artist who uses photography to cater to his inner curiosity and reflect on his sense of self. He uses photography not only to document where he lives, but also confront his outsider status in Australia. He is constantly reminded that he is 7000 km away from his home in Vietnam, in Sunshine, a Melbourne suburb, that disguises itself as home. Sunshine incorporates installation, photography, and video to explore the suburb. The work serves as a geographic reference point to investigate the lasting impact of the Vietnam War on Australian Vietnamese migrants, including the post-war trauma and resettlement experiences they faced.

I found myself thinking of Joan Wakelin, the late British photojournalist, who I had the good fortune to get to know 40 years ago. A passionate person, her philosophy was ‘when one can laugh and cry with people, one is beginning to understand people, and only then can one begin to photograph them.’ Her photography was non-judgmental but did not hesitate to take a view. Le also has certainly taken a clear view with this work.

My home library includes Wakelin’s book The Different Drum which includes an image taken at a Transit Camp for Vietnamese boat refugees. It is of a woman who had given premature birth on a crowded refugee boat two hours prior to being rescued from that boat. Wakelin’s photographs at the closed centres for refugees were taken without permission from the authorities. Quite possibly some of Le’s family or friends spent time in that transit camp or were even photographed by Wakelin.

Having assisted Vietnamese refugees to settle in Canberra, I very much appreciated Le’s works documenting how refugees who settled in Sunshine have created new lives there. The subject matter and the intense colours convey complementary messages about the power of survival and adjustment.

Phuong Le, Untitled (from the series Sunshine), 2023

Chris Siu is a Hong Kong-born photographer who primarily works with medium-format analogue photography to explore the intricate relationships within his surrounding social landscapes, pivoting around representations of civil unrest, diasporic experience, cultural displacement, and marginality within contemporary existence.

Here he shows four imposing and high quality black and white prints. For me the most powerful image is of a cancelled passport set against the front page of a newspaper with its story about the transfer of Hong Kong back to China in 1997. I hope Siu is familiar with Hedda Morrison’s wonderful images of Hong Kong, published in a book by Edward Stokes which also is in my library.

Expired Passport by Chris Siu
  

Estelle Yoon is a queer, Korean-Australian visual artist. Her Prussian blue 16mm film video work 쎄쎄쎄 (sse-sse-sse) is a poetic homage to inter-generational love. It weaves a cultural tapestry, harmonising the South Korean traditional lullaby 반달 (ban-dal) and its hand gestures to nurture deep familial bonds in their most simple form.

Estelle Yoon, 쎄쎄쎄 (sse-sse-sse) (film still), 2023

I arrived in Australia as a migrant with my parents and brother after a five week’s ship voyage from England as an 8-year-old. We had to make considerable adjustments and adapt to an entirely new lifestyle in a very different place. This exhibition caused me to revisit my experiences.

This review is also available on the author's blog here.

JOYCE YANG - KALEIDOSCOPIC COLORS - Snow Concert Hall International Series & Piano +


Snow concert Hall, Canberra. 14th May 2024.

Reviewed by BILL STEPHENS.


What is it that lifts a piano player into the realm of greatness?

This was a quandary that came to mind when Joyce Yang completed her introduction to her program with the remark that like every great pianist she hoped her audience would enjoy her program.

Born in Korea Joyce Yang’s aptitude for the piano emerged early. When she was about to turn four her auntie decided that Joyce would be her first music student and persuaded her parents to buy her a piano for her fourth birthday.

By the time Joyce was 15, although too young to enter the Julliard pre-college Concerto Competition, she nevertheless set herself the task of learning the assigned repertoire: Grieg’s Piano Concerto.

By age 19, as the youngest competitor in the 12th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, Joyce began to attract international attention by winning not only the silver medal but two other awards as well.

In the 19 years since, Joyce Yang has travelled the world forging her career and cementing her reputation as an extraordinarily talented concert pianist, performing with the most prestigious symphony orchestras and earning herself a Grammy nomination along the way.

For this concert, which she performed in the Snow Concert Hall prior to her performances with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Yang chose a program of works by Russian composers, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Stravinsky and Mussorgsky.

By delightful happenstance, she performed on the Snow Concert Hall’s newly acquired Steinway Model D Concert Grand. Known as “The Olley”, this piano was originally purchased brand new for the Sydney Conservatorium in 2005, the year Yang won her silver medal at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.

Yang opened her program with six short piano pieces selected from a series of twelve, written by Tchaikovsky under the title of The Seasons Op.37a. Tchaikovsky composed these pieces on commission for an innovative magazine editor who had promised his readers a different Tchaikovsky composition each month. He wrote these twelve pieces at the same time as he was also composing Swan Lake.

From the twelve works Yang chose No.1 January: By the Fireside, No.2 February: Carnival, No. 4 April: Snowdrop, No.5 May: May Nights, No.6: June: Barcarolle and No 8. August: Harvest.

As the titles suggest each of these little piano sketches represented a different season or inspiration. They’ve achieved popularity among recitalists as encores. For For Yang however they provided a charming introduction, allowing her to demonstrate her impressive technical prowess and emotional connection with the music, while introducing her to her audience and allowing her to explore ‘the Olley’.

Following the Seasons she deepened the mood with three Rachmaninoff preludes selected from his 13 Preludes Op.32 and 10 Preludes Op.23. Producing a warm bold sound with dramatic extended pauses and rich voicings she explored the lustrous sonority of the instrument, before letting loose the fireworks with a dazzling performance of three movements from Stravinsky’s The Firebird.

It was in The Firebird that Yang’s virtuosic technique was on full display. Despite the obvious complexities of the work with its crashing dissonant chording, Yang appeared in complete control, demanding and receiving from her instrument a huge, clearly defined sound with which to fill the Snow Concert Hall. It was a thrilling performance which received thunderous recognition from her excited audience.

Following a short interval Yang performed Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition which like the Tchaikovsky allowed her to demonstrate the full range of the effortless technique for which she is justly celebrated.

But demonstrating technique was not Yang’s interest. She obviously takes her technique for granted, for as she worked through her program she appeared serene, allowing herself the occasional gentle smile, even finishing a piece with a flourish.

By selecting such a wide-ranging program Yang’s purpose was to put her technique to the service of the music to enable each member of her audience to discover what it was that each composer wanted them to experience while listening to their music.

In that she certainly succeeded, and rewarded herself by pleasuring her audience with an encore by one of her favourite composers; a gentle nocturne by Grieg.

After this performance, was there anyone present who would disagree that Joyce Yang should be labelled a great pianist?


                                                  Image by K.T.Kim


       This review also published in Australian Arts Review. www.artsreview.com.au


.

GASLIGHT

 


Written by Patrick Hamilton

Adapted by Johnna Wright and Patty Jamieson

Directed by Lee Lewis

Presented by Rodney Rigby and Queensland Theatre

Canberra Theatre, Canberra Theatre Centre to 19 May

 

Reviewed by Len Power 15 May 2024

 

“Gaslight” was, first of all, a British play of 1938 called “Gas Light” by Patrick Hamilton. The play had a long run on Broadway in 1942, re-titled “Angel Street”, and was made into two movies, both called “Gaslight”. There was a 1940 British film and the more famous American film of 1944 that starred Ingrid Bergman and Charles Boyer. This current adaptation by Johnna Wright and Patty Jamieson, premiered at Canada’s 2022 Shaw Festival.

While there are variations in the different versions, they are all about a husband trying to drive his wife insane, with theft as the motivation.  While the term, “gaslighting” is not used in any of the versions, the play’s plot inspired the modern use of the term as a verb to describe the manipulation of people in a similar way to that of the wife in the play.

The performances of the cast of four were excellent. Geraldine Hakewill as Bella, the wife, gave a fine study of a nervy woman doubting herself at the start of the play and growing subtly stronger as the play progresses. Toby Schmitz was very effective as the evil husband, Jack, and Kate Fitzpatrick brought an impressive depth to her role as the stern housekeeper, Elizabeth. Courtney Cavallaro maintained a fine air of mystery in her role as the new maid, Nancy.

It’s certainly an expensive-looking period production with a substantial and detailed set and costumes designed by Renée Mulder. Amongst the impressive aspects of a generally clever sound design by Paul Charlier was the atmospheric sound of gas lamps being turned on and burning. However, the mysterious sounds from rooms above, that no-one but the wife can hear, sounded like a heavy locomotive being moved around. It was unbelievable that no-one else could hear it.

The play has a strong first act that plays very well with a particularly clever and startling moment just before the end. Unfortunately, the second act is not as effective, with a loss of tension and strange character motivations as well as dialogue near the end that is just laughable. The director, Lee Lewis, has staged it well but a good director cannot overcome script problems.

This adaptation of the play has been promoted in the media as “liberating” and “re-imagined”. It implies that the original play is somehow faulty, outdated or needed fixing. A quality amateur production of the original play was performed here by Canberra REP in 2015. It played much better than this misguided effort.

 

Len Power's reviews are also broadcast on Artsound FM 92.7 in the ‘Arts Cafe’ and ‘Arts About’ programs and published in his blog 'Just Power Writing' at https://justpowerwriting.blogspot.com/ .

 

GASLIGHT


 

Gaslight

Written by Patrick Hamilton and adapted by Johnna Wright and Patty Jameison. Directed by Lee Lewis. Set and costume design Renee Mulder. Lighting design Paul Jackson. Original music and sound design Paul Charlier. Casting director Lauren Wiley. Technical Direction Daniel Maddison and David Worthy Voice and dialect coach Gabrielle Rogers. Movement and intimacy Nigel Poulton. Presented by Rodney Rigby, Queensland Theatre, Marriner Group and TEG. General management New Theatricals. Execurtive producer Ben Finn. Canberra Theatre Centre. Canberra Theatre. May 16-19 2024. Bookings: 6275 2700 or canberratheatrecentre.com.au.

Reviewed by Peter Wilkins

 

Geraldine Hakewill as Bella and Toby Schmitz as Jack
in Patrick Hamilton's GASLIGHT

 A sinister tension hangs in the air as the curtain rises on Renee Mulder’s lavish design of a London residence in the 1880s. Jack Manningham (Toby Schmitz) is concerned that his wife Bella (Geraldine Hakewill) is showing signs of delusion.  Unexplained events are shrouded in mystery.  A portrait of the previous owner, Alice Barlow is removed from the wall and hidden. Noises from the attic above torment the bewildered Bella. The gaslight inexplicably dims. Housemaid Elizabeth (Kate Fitzpatrick) and maid Nancy (Courtney Cavallaro) are falsely accused of stealing Bella’s mother’s pearl necklace. Bella is terrified when husband Jack leaves her alone at night. Is Bella losing her mind? Or is she the victim, tormented by deliberate deception for some ominous purpose?

Geraldine Hakewill, Kate Fitzpatrick as Elizabeth, and Toby Schmitz 

Patrick Hamilton’s 1938 psychological thriller Gaslight is a timely lesson in the fearful practice of coercion. Johnna Wright and Pattie Jamieson’s adaptation of Hamilton’s play focuses on the insidious nature of suggestive manipulation, casting Bella into a world of self-doubt in which she is forced to question her sanity. Director Lee Lewis charts the suspense with insightful command of the thriller genre. She is assisted by Paul Charlier’s original music and sound design, varying the instrumentation to suggest the repetitive torment to the confused brain or the sudden shock of the storm. The atmosphere is riveting, heart-stopping in its tension and intriguing in its depiction of coercive control.  

Lewis directs an outstanding cast in this gripping revival of the play that gave us the term gaslighting. Schmitz’s Manningham oozes sincerity in his concern for Bella’s welfare while insinuating unsettling accusation. Hakewill gives a magnificent performance as Bella, struggling on the precipice of insanity, at times collapsing in despair until a chance twist in events reveals her innate strength. Schmitz and Hakewill are strongly supported by Fitzpatrick’s perfect depiction of the austere Victorian housemaid Elizabeth, dressed in black and echoing the Gothic spirit of the loyal servant harbouring a private trauma. Cavallaro capitalizes on the feisty and opportunistic character of the chambermaid Nancy as she seeks the opportunity to lift her above the circumstances of her class.

Toby Schmitz as Jack Manningham

At a time when domestic violence and coercion are high on the political agenda it is imperative that Hamilton’s 1938 thriller should provide opportunity and hope for a society concerned with the issue of gaslighting. It is significant that Bella’s chance discovery of evidence of deception at the end of the first act should give rise to her inner strength as a catalyst for empowerment. The tables turn in a triumph of good over evil. However, Hamilton’s Gaslight, intelligently adapted by Wright and Jamieson is not a Victorian melodrama. Though true to the era in style and design, this touring production shines a light on a social issue that dare not be ignored. Lee Lewis’s staging of Patrick Hamilton’s Gaslight is a highly polished and professional production that will have you sitting on the edge of your seat, your heart thumping and your mind whirling. This is a work not to be missed, not only because it is so highly entertaining in the Gothic and film noir tradition, but because it casts a contemporary light upon a society grappling with the impact of coercion and the role that society and government can play to provide support and empowerment to those affected by all forms of psychological abuse.

Gaslight is playing for a limited season only at the Canberra Theatre. Be sure to catch this revitalized revival before the curtain falls on this excellent production.