Full of mystery and manipulation


Jack Manningham (Andrew Govey) psychologically torments his wife Bella (Emma Shaw) in the Victorian thriller Gaslight.
Jack Manningham (Andrew Govey) psychologically torments his wife Bella (Emma Shaw) in the Victorian thriller Gaslight.

Matched with the timeless theme of marital manipulation, it’s all part of a popular Victorian thriller on show at Limelight Theatre this autumn.

Written by Patrick Hamilton and directed by Karen Tropiano, Gaslight is set in 1880 and focuses on the suave Jack Manningham who is slowly psychologically torturing his wife Bella (played by Shaw) into insanity.

When she is visited by Inspector Rough, he convinces her that Jack is a maniacal criminal wanted for a murder committed 15 years ago.

Bella then gains confidence in herself, as she works with the inspector to build up evidence against her husband.

Gaslight is part-Victorian thriller, part-murder-mystery, part-drama,” Shaw said.

“Bella Manningham has a family history of mental illness and is now worried that she, like her mother, is going insane – or is she?

“She’s a complicated character because she’s smart and capable but faced with constant doubt and challenges.

“I want people to be able to relate to her because we’ve all faced times of doubt and uncertainty and haven’t known who to trust.”

Acting since 2004, Shaw has appeared in numerous shows with the Koorliny Arts Centre, Playlovers, Stirling and Limelight theatres, Knuts and other independent companies around Perth, including performances at Fringe World.

Most recently, she played Andrina in the WA premiere of Disney’s The Little Mermaid and was also named best actress in a leading role at the Limelight Theatre awards for her roles in The 39 Steps last year.

Gaslight plays from March 31 to April 16. Tickets are $21, $18 concession – book on 0499 954 016 between 9am and midday, Monday to Friday, or at www.limelighttheatre.com .