GASLIGHT by Patrick Hamilton will be Knutsford Little Theatre’s latest offering next week.

Written in 1938, the play is set in 1880s fog-bound London when ‘baddies’ were unremittingly evil.

In some productions the villain of the piece was booed at the final curtain call, not because of the actor’s lack of skill, but because of the psychopathic nature of Jack Manningham, the overbearing husband of Bella.

Gaslight caused a stir when it was first produced – even King George VI and Queen Elizabeth visited the Apollo Theatre to see what all the fuss was about.

Here at KLT, Manningham is a creepily-menacing, threatening, controlling and manipulating moral monster who constantly undermines and humiliates his subservient wife.

He is portrayed to perfection by Chris Marriott who, in the interests of authenticity, has grown magnificent mutton chop whiskers and moustache for the part – a sight not to be missed.

Theresa Kay plays Bella, his victim, a woman completely in thrall to her husband, even as she listens to him flirting with the young servant girl she seems utterly in his power, a fact that will have modern women seething on her behalf.

Theresa is an accomplished actress, who assumes the role of the obedient wife with great empathy as Bella struggles to free herself from his clutches.

Enter the hero of the day: genial, perceptive, avuncular Inspector Rough, played skilfully by genial, perceptive, avuncular Mike Wilding.

However, despite his persistence, will he be able to persuade Mrs Manningham to have the courage to stand up to her husband?

Rough has been tipped off inadvertently to underhand goings-on by the impudent minx of a maid, Nancy.

Counterbalancing Nancy is the more sympathetic housekeeper, Elizabeth. Lesley Hornsby and Viv Cunningham make welcome reappearances at the theatre as the two women.

Two policemen provide cameo roles, performed with gusto by Riyaz Assrafally and Patrick Smith who complete an accomplished cast.

With set and costumes up to their usual high standard, sound and lighting also come into their own with those unexplained noises in the attic and, of course, those mysterious dimming gaslights.

Patrick Hamilton’s Victorian thriller, later done on Broadway as Angel Street, was also made into two films which made him a him a fortune by the age of 34.

With nailbiting tension from the opening scene to the final climax, Gaslight will provide theatre with an excellent evening’s entertainment.

The play runs from November 9 to 12, at 7.30pm. Tickets are £7, available by calling 01565 873515.