THE PERFORMERS shone brightly when All and Sundry took to the stage for Patrick Hamilton’s emotive thriller Gaslight.
It was an impressive directing debut for Ed Butler in the snug Starlight Studio at Droitwich’s Norbury Theatre, which provided the perfect ‘claustrophobic’ back-drop for the piece.
It is set in 1885 and centres around brow-beaten Bella who is psychologically abused by husband Jack with seemingly no way out for her.
The first half you are working out the characters and their motives and trying to work out where the plot is taking you.
In the second part the dramatic tension is ramped up and, testament to those portraying the characters, you are almost watching through your fingers.
You could not have three more contrasting main characters and it was difficult to choose between them.
Andrew Corcoran was excellent as the imposing Jack Manningham. As well as his calculated and aggressive body language and mannerisms, his pure stature on the stage meant he dominated the room during his scenes.
Tracey Smith was equally brilliant as Bella and you empathised with her from the beginning, wanting her to rid herself of the situation she had found herself in.
And David Goode as the kind, caring, reassuring but also meticulous, Inspector Rough was a firm favourite with the audience. With a regular stream of subtle but humorous one liners, delightfully delivered, he also provided the much-needed light in a play cast largely in shadow.
There is also a lovely twist at the very end which provides a long-awaited happy ending that, early on, you never thought was possible.
The final performances take place at 7.30pm on Friday, June 8, and Saturday, June 9.
Call 01905 770154 or visit norburytheatre.co.uk for tickets, which are £10.