Gas Light

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Gas Light is a play by Patrick Hamilton (1904–1962)[1]

Also known as Gaslight.

The original text

The play is a study of a villain who, having murdered an elderly relative years before, now seeks to drive his wife mad. Justice intervenes eventually.

The original play premiered in London in December 1938 and ran for six months. It opened in New York with the title Angel Street and premiered on Broadway at the John Golden Theatre on 5 December 1941, transferred to the Bijou Theatre on 2 October 1944, and closed on 30 December 1944 after 1295 performances.

Filmed twice in the 1940s, both times with the title Gaslight. The first, a British film, was made in 1940 and directed by Thorold Dickinson, starring Anton Walbrook, Diana Wynyard and Frank Pettingell. Then another, more famous, version was made in 1944 by MGM, directed by George Cukor with Ingrid Bergman, Charles Boyer and Angela Lansbury.

Translations and adaptations

Translated into Afrikaans by Pierre de Wet as Satansloon ("Satan's Payment") and first produced in 1942.

Performance history in South Africa

1941: Produced by Robert Quentin at the Little Theatre for the Combined Dramatic Societies of Cape Town in 1941. With Walter Paterson, Eirwen Llewelyn Jones, George Royle, set designer Cecil Pym, lighting by H. Lerner.

1942: Margaret Inglis, using a small group of amateur players from Modderfontein Dynamite Factory presented a performance of the play, playing the lead herself .

1942: Performed in Afrikaans as Satansloon by Teatergroep, directed by and starring Pierre de Wet, with Berdine Grünewald, Paula Styger, James Norval and Anna Cloete. The production went on tour throughout the country, with the company now billed as the Geselskap Pierre de Wet.

1954: Presented by the Brian Brooke Company at the Hofmeyr Theatre, Cape Town, starring English actor Emrys Jones (1915-1972)[2] and Petrina Fry.

1962: Performed by the Langford-Inglis Company at the Library Theatre, Johannesburg.

1967: In April 1967 the Libertas Teaterklub staged a production in The Cellar in Stellenbosch, directed by Piet van Straaten, with Marie van Heerden (Bella), Piet van Straaten (Jack), Louise Brower (Elizabeth), Cynthia Lambrechts (Nancy), Gerhard Roux (Rough), Peter Viljoen (Man 1) and Boela Holloway (Man 2).


Trek, 5 December 1941, 20.

The Forum, 5(8), 1942. p 18.

Brooke 1978. 247.

Tucker, 1997. 18, 169.

Programme Alexander Theatre. No 166 September, 1963.

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