THE POPULAR thriller Gaslight is now on at Winchester's Chesil Theatre,

Chesil Theatre Winchester is presenting the classic Victorian thriller Gaslight by Patrick Hamilton from now until April 8.

The fear of a descent into madness has long been a major theme in drama, from Shakespeare’s King Lear to the modern storyline of Helen Titchener in The Archers. In the murky fog-bound London of 1890, Bella Manningham finds herself in a similar plight. There are sounds from a supposedly empty floor above and as the gaslight flickers and fades it heightens the dread lurking in the household. Is Jack Manningham the considerate and charming husband he appears to be, or has he sinister intentions? Is Bella really losing her mind? The sudden arrival of a retired policeman, Inspector Rough, puts in motion the discovery of dark secrets.

Bella Manningham is played by Helen Grime, a drama lecturer at the University of Winchester. She said: “Gaslight presents a wonderful challenge to portray both the strength and vulnerability of Bella; often moment to moment”.

Director Michael Goron, a fellow lecturer, found the psychological examination of the play intriguing and said: “The confessional aspects of this play, when a protagonist is helped to recognise hidden truths by talking to a benign listener, has more in common with an analyst’s couch than the improbable coincidences of Victorian melodrama.”

Gaslight runs nightly at 7.45pm at the Chesil Theatre to April 8 with a matinee performance on the final Saturday. Tickets at £11 and £13 are available from the website:, or by calling

Tel: 0333 666 3366.