The Matthews’ community theater presents a night of deception and suspense with the play, “Angel Street,” by Patrick Hamilton. Originally titled, “Gaslight,” the event runs Thursday through Sunday, Nov. 2-5, 2017. “Angel Street” is directed by Julie Walkins. The Thursday-Saturday performances start at 7:30 p.m., while the Sunday performance is at 2 p.m. This is the second event of the 2017-18 Subscription Series.
Individual tickets are $15 adults, $5 youth and BHSU students.
Thurs.-Sat.: 7:30 p.m.
Sundays: 2 pm.
Few plays have the staying power to be successfully performed 74 years after their creation. Even fewer plays have a premise so powerful, they coin a term still used by psychologists today — “Gaslight.” Angel Street by Patrick Hamilton, running October 26 through November 5, is one of those plays.
“Gaslight,” retitled “Angel Street” in the US, was the play that made Patrick Hamilton famous. When it opened late in 1938, he was, at 34, already regarded as a highly promising novelist, his standing recently bolstered by the final part of his semi-autobiographical trilogy, “20,000 Streets Under the Sky.”
He had also achieved–with his stage debut thriller “Rope”–almost 10 years earlier, the overnight notoriety of a sort not seen since Noël Coward’s, “The Vortex.” Nevertheless, his follow-up, subtitled “a Victorian thriller,” put him in a different league of fame and fortune.
There was adulation from reviewers, as well as his peers (Coward among them). George VI and Queen Elizabeth hastened to the Apollo Theatre to see what the fuss was about, and after a six-month run in the West End went on to wow Broadway for four years and inspired two film versions: the first British in 1940, the second American in 1944.
The play is set in fog-bound London in 1880 at the lower middle-class home of Jack Manningham and his wife, Bella. At the opening of the drama, Bella is clearly on edge, and the stern reproaches from her overbearing husband. What most perturbs Bella is Manningham’s unexplained disappearances from the house. He will not tell her where he is going, and this increases her anxiety. As the drama unfolds, it becomes clear that Manningham is intent on convincing Bella that she is going insane, even to the point of assuring her she is “imagining” the gas light in the house is dimming. The appearance of a police detective called Rough soon leads Bella to realize that Manningham is responsible for her torment. Rough explains that the apartment above was once occupied by one Alice Barlow, a wealthy woman who was murdered for her jewels but that the murderer never uncovered them.
“Gaslight,” (known in the USA as “Angel Street”) the play and its film adaptations, gave rise to the term “gaslighting” with the meaning “a form of psychological abuse in which false information is presented to the victim with the intent of making him/her doubt his/her own memory and perception.”
Thank you to the sponsors that help us bring art shows, plays, concerts, and other live entertainment acts to The Matthews. We couldn’t do it without you.
KEVN Black Hills, South Dakota Arts Council, Great Western Bank, Killian’s Tavern, Black Hills Pioneer, Bay Leaf Cafe, City of Spearfish, DeSmet and Biggs, LLP, Forcoli & Sons Painting, Wolff’s Plumbing & Heating, Inc., Lucky’s 13 Pub, Spearfish Holiday Inn, The Apple Blossom B&B, Zonta Club of Spearfish, Spearfish Motors, Optimist Club of Spearfish, The Real Estate Center of Spearfish, The Matthews’ family, The Kelley family — CLICK HERE to visit these sponsors’ business websites.
Would your business like to become a sponsor? CLICK HERE to learn more.