Gaslight Programme

 

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Production Programme for Gaslight, performed by Woodford Players

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Greater Manchester Drama Federation The Greater Manchester Drama Federation (GMDF) is recognised as one of the leading associations representing amateur theatre in the North West of England. The GMDF's affiliated network alone makes it one of the largest regional organisations of its type and it's Full Length Festival, is probably the largest drama festival to be held in Europe. Entries into this Festival are adjudicated by four adjudicators throughout the season and their awards across various categories of drama are announced at our prestigious Awards Evening during the summer. We also hold a long established, annual, high quality, week long, One Act Play Festival which, next year, will be held at CHADS Theatre, Mellor Road, Cheadle Hulme. SK8 5AU. Details are on our website. GMDF aims include:  To provide a central organisation through which the membership can take co-operative and concerted action in all matters which concern non-professional theatre.  To involve and encourage at all times, in every facet of the theatre, the youth drama movement in the Greater Manchester area .  To promote 'live theatre' to the general public in, thus providing a cultural activity of acknowledged value in this modern era of increased leisure time . www.gmdf.org NATIONAL OPERATIC and DRAMATIC ASSOCIATION Serving Amateur Theatre since 1899 Inspiring theatre Our vision is that amateur theatre is successful and sustainable, providing a range of opportunities for people to develop their skills and enjoy taking part, at all levels. Mission We are here to support the education and information needs of individuals and organisations with high quality services and products that contribute to the success of amateur theatre, as well as encouraging appreciation of the sector by participants and audiences alike. We aim to:  Help amateur societies and individuals achieve the highest standards of best practice and performance  Give a shared voice to the amateur theatre sector.  Provide leadership and advice to enable the amateur theatre sector to tackle the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century. www.noda.org.uk

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Chairman’s address Good evening and welcome to another evening’s entertainment at the Woodford Centre. Tonight’s play Gaslight is in complete contrast to our hugely successful April production of the hilarious Titfield Thunderbolt. Although written in 1938, Gaslight, by Patrick Hamilton, is a Victorian psychological thriller. It has been made into two films and has given rise to the term “gaslighting”, a phenomenon which has featured prominently in recent months in a popular and long running radio soap opera! We are delighted to welcome to Woodford our director Sheryl Haydock-Howorth, Sheryl is very well known and widely respected for her work in musical theatre, she has worked with us in the past, notably as choreographer in Dick Barton this is her first drama production for us and I for one hope that this production will be the first of many at Woodford. So sit back and prepare to have your spines well and truly chilled as we take you back in time to the eerie home of Jack and Bella Manningham on a foggy night in Victorian London and ……”gaslight”! Best Wishes Derek Snowdon Chairman www.woodfordplayers.co.uk The President’s Jottings Looking back through old programmes I noted that tonight’s play Gaslight was first performed by the Woodford Players 50 years ago in December 1966 under the directorship of Kath Fox. Kay Horton and I were responsible for the properties whilst Paul Brook was Stage Manager and Derek Blunt took the role of Mr Manningham. The admission charge was 8 shillings and programmes were 6d in old money. I remember it was quite a challenge to find authentic Victorian props and folk generously loaned us their “antiques and treasured possessions” to enhance the stage settings. Paul Brook’s mother, Margaret was in charge of wardrobe and was kept very busy making the various costumes. This was always a challenge when we had limited use of and little storage space at the Community Centre this inevitably resulted in most of the costumes being kept at Margaret’s house which, fortunately, was almost opposite the Community Centre on Chester Road. So here we are 50 years on, presenting another slant under different directorship on this excellent play. Sheryl and her cast have worked very hard at rehearsals which, when you are on the edge of your seat trying not to bite your fingernails, you will see has paid off. On behalf of the main committee and members of Woodford Players I wish you a pleasant evening and thank you for your continued support/ Best wishes Heather Braddock

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Director’s Notes Having been involved in musical theatre as a Director/Choreographer since 1990 and prior to that as a dancer and actor, I am delighted to be invited back to Woodford Players to direct my very first play, although I was here to help with the tap dancing in Dick Barton a few years ago. Gaslight is a fascinating thriller of mind games and anxiety, and as the drama unfolds it soon becomes clear that Jack is determined to convince Bella that she is going insane just like her Mother. We see Jack bullying Bella verbally and accusing her of constantly losing things. To make matters worse, he flirts with the maid in Bella’s presence, and disappears from the house at night, which causes more anxiety for Bella. The entrance of Inspector Rough soon leads Bella to realise that Jack is the one who is responsible for her torment. Rough tells Bella the story of the Cabman’s Friend and the missing Barlow Rubies and that the house that she now lives in, was once owned by Alice Barlow before she was violently murdered and that the murderer was never caught. What happens next you will have to wait and see. My thanks to all the cast for the fun in rehearsals and your hard work, it’s been great working with them all. Also my grateful thanks to everyone who has helped with this production, I could not have done it without their support and encouragement. They are a terrific and organised team and it has been a pleasure to be a part of it, especially being the ‘new kid’ on the block. I hope you all enjoy tonight’s performance of Gaslight and thank you for your continued support of Woodford Players. Best wishes Sheryl Haydock-Howorth Woodford Community Players gratefully acknowledges the vital support of the following: Christ Church Woodford for rehearsal facilities Mark Wilkinson for help erecting the raked seating All our advertisers, please lend them your support and those who have assisted with our publicity.

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550 Chester Road, Woodford, Stockport. SK7 1PS If you haven’t visited this pub, put it on your “to do” list because you are in for a treat. This pub has been in the Hallworth family for 85 years with the current landlady at the helm for the last 26 years and when her son takes over it will be the 5th generation of Hallworths in the Thief’s Neck—A considerable achievement indeed. A warm welcome awaits you at The Davenport Arms (The Thief’s Neck). The Hallworth family, are the longest serving family of any pub in Robinsons’ 330-strong estate, have been pulling pints at the Davenport for more than 80 years. Relax in this lovely pub and enjoy a pint of perfectly kept beer or choose from a large selection of fine wines. An extensive traditional food menu as well as a selection of delicious grazing boards will leave you spoiled for choice. Scrummy, locally sourced food and a great atmosphere always provides customers with the perfect setting for a cosy festive season celebration. Early booking is always advised as this popular pub gets booked up very quickly. A traditional, family run, country pub offering high quality food, drinks and perfectly kept Robinson’s beers. 30 consecutive years in The Good Beer Guide 0161 439 2435

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Gaslight—Synopsis of Scenes The play is set in a living room on the first floor of a four-storied house in a gloomy and unfashionable quarter of London in the late 1890’s. Act 1 Early Evening There will be a 20 minute interval between acts 1 and 2 during which the bar will be open and tea, coffee and biscuits will be available for a donation Act 2 Scene1 A few moments later Scene 2 Later that same night The author—Patrick Hamilton 1880 - London in the fog—the gaslights cannot dispel the shadows in the home of the recently married Mr and Mrs Manningham. Why do the lights mysteriously rise and fall of their own accord? Who prowls the attic at night? Is Mrs Manningham losing her sanity, or is her life in deadly danger. All will be revealed in this thrilling play from the pen of Patrick Hamilton, born in 1904 he wrote his first novel at 19 and was published just after his 21st birthday. He enjoyed great popularity from the late Twenties until the Early Fifties. His stage plays Gaslight and Rope enhanced his reputation and became Hollywood movies. Despite his success however he was never a happy man and descended into alcoholism and died in 1962. However, his work has in recent years undergone a revival his Gorse trilogy was republished and was made into a Television series The Charmer starring Nigel Havers in the late Eighties. The term “Gaslighting” is now used to describe a form of psychological abuse in which a victim is manipulated into doubting their own memory, perception and sanity. The term owes it’s origin to the play Gaslight. Bibliography Monday Morning (1925), Craven House (1926), Twopence Coloured (1928) 1 The Midnight Bell (1929), 2 The Siege of Pleasure (1932), 3 The Plains of Cement (1934) 1,2,3, republished as Twenty Thousand Streets under the Sky in (1935) Impromptu in Moribundia (1939), Hangover Square (1941), The Slaves of Solitude (1947), The West Pier (1952), Mr Stimpson and Mr Gorse (1953), Unknown Assailant (1955) Plays: Rope (1929), Gaslight (1938), The Duke in Darkness (1943), Tthe Man Upstairs (1953)

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The Gaslight Cast John Lomax - Jack Manningham Having directed The Titfield Thunderbolt John is delighted to be appearing in Gaslight. The role of Jack Manningham is a departure from his previous comic roles and he is extremely grateful for the guidance and advice from Sheryl in bringing out the dark complexities of Jack's character Catherine Eaton - Bella Manningham Catherine has performed in a number of plays with Woodford, most recently appearing as Joan Weech in The Titfield Thunderbolt and Shirley Valentine in a recent breast cancer awareness fundraising event. Catherine has had a number of stage husbands at Woodford, many of them unsavoury in one way or another; but none as malevolent as Jack Manningham. Although written several decades ago and set as a historical piece, Catherine feels that Gaslight has a very relevant message for the present day regarding partner abuse and the difficulties of shining a light into the darkness of what horrors occur behind respectable closed doors. Nicola Detheridge - Nancy This is Nicola’s second play with Woodford Players since making her debut as Miss Coggett in The Titfield Thunderbolt in April. Nicola also guest appeared as Vicky in Poynton Players’ summer production of Cheshire Cats. Nicola said, "It's a real treat to be performing alongside such a great cast, the props, frocks and crew have done a fantastic job of taking us back to Victorian times. Nancy is a spirited character and fun to play but her morals, accent and wig are quite a challenge! Sheryl has done a great job guiding us through this dark play but one we're sure you will enjoy..... sometimes from the edge of your seat! Pat Helicon - Elizabeth Pat started treading the boards in musical theatre with Our Ladies operatic society and was approached by Woodford Players in 1999 for a role in the Noel Coward play Kindly keep it Covered, from then on she has regularly featured in many productions and is a staunch member of the cast her favourite roles were Ruth in Blythe Spirit and Aunt Ella in Oklahoma. Pat is also the secretary of the society. David Wilkinson - Rough After several years in musical theatre, panto, and reviews with DATS and Footlights Players, David was talked into ‘serious’ theatre with Woodford Players, playing Michael Starkwedder in The Unexpected Guest. Stuttering Bertie followed, winning Woodford’s first NODA Actor’s award in Crown Matrimonial. Other leading roles for Woodford Players have been Sir Robert Morton in The Winslow Boy and Frank Gibbons in This Happy Breed. In 2012 David won Best Actor in the National Ovation Theatre Awards playing Bachelor Mitchell in Soup for Starters. Besides regular shows for DATS David’s last, serious role was Henry VIII in Katherine Howard for MADS. If you didn’t blink you may have caught him in ITV’s Victoria or on the big screen now: ‘Fantastic Beasts and How To Find Them’. David is excited to be back with familiar faces and playing the ebullient Rough!

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Gaslight Cast Jack Manningham John Lomax Bella Manningham Catherine Eaton Rough David Wilkinson Elizabeth Pat Helicon Nancy Nicola Detheridge Policeman / Muffin Man Tom Dawson Gaslight Production Team Director Sheryl Haydock-Howorth Technical Director and Lighting Design Trevor McKelvey Stage Manager Derek Manton Production Manager Pat Snowdon Continuity Set Design Set Construction Team and Stage Crew Heather Braddock Sheryl Haydock-Howorth Trevor McKelvey, Derek & Pat Snowdon, Tom Dawson, Derek & Carolyn Manton, Graham Ackers, Wilson Young, Melloney Lenk, James Cawley, Graham Scurfield, David Day Sound Engineer Graham Scurfield Properties Pat and Derek Snowdon, Carolyn Manton Wardrobe The Cast and Jude Craig Dresser Publicity Programme Design Nikki Lees Tom Dawson and Jude Craig Jude Craig Photography Front of House Team Refreshments Wilson Young Andrew Eaton, Barbara Starr, Graham Ackers, James Cawley, Carol Ackers, Teresa Dawson, Alan & Lindsay Statham, Margaret Roberts, Tom Helicon, Bill Cross. Monica Wickham Teresa Dawson and Monica Wickham Tom Dawson – Policeman and The Muffin Man Tom first appeared for Woodford Players in 2004 as a Police Inspector in The Unexpected Guest since then he has played a variety of roles in over 20 productions. Tom is back in the police force again for Gaslight, this time reduced in rank to Constable. Those with keen eyes may also spot him selling muffins at the start of the show!

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Memories of life by Gaslight. Our house like many in the early 1950s had no mains electricity. Gas was the main form of lighting and was also used for cooking, heating was by means of a coal fire in a huge black leaded grate. Coal was kept under the stairs in the “Coal Hole”. The gas was delivered by way of a prepayment meter that took a shilling (5p) then known as a “bob” some meters took pennies as well. The light was poor but was better than candlelight for reading. The meter was read and emptied regularly by the “Gas Man” who would then calculate the amount used and repay the surplus known as “the rebate“ to our mum. Because we had no electricity our radio or wireless as we knew it ( no T.V. then) was powered by a wet cell battery known as an accumulator when flat this would be taken to our local scrap merchant round the corner who would exchange it for a fully charged one for a sixpence or a “tanner “ as we knew it. As children we used to look out for the lamplighter a man with a long pole and torch who would go from one street lamp to the next lighting each lamp in turn by pulling on a chain in the lamp that opened the valve, the gas was then ignited by a pilot light that burned constantly, should it have blown out he would relight it with a wick on the end of his pole. This procedure would be reversed in the morning as it became light. Occasionally he would come around with a ladder and clean the glasses and replace any broken mantles in the light. established in the heart of the village for over 40 years large residential Letting & Management Department a free home valuation gets the selling process started highly trained negotiators can help you find a property across the UK

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MERCURY GARAGE 185A Moss Lane ,Bramhall ,Stockport .SK7 1BA Tel 0161 439 8365 Fax 0161 439 5145 BRAMHALL’S MOT CENTRE Service and Repairs to ALL MAKES AND MODELS Gaslight Quiz 1 Where and in what year was the first house lit by gas? 2 What was the name given to the places where town gas was stored prior to distribution? 3 When did the conversion from town to natural gas commence and when did it end? 4 in what year was the Gas Industry nationalised in Britain? 5 In what year was North Sea gas discovered? 6 In what year was the gas Industry privatised? 7 in the advert for the sale of British Gas shares what was the name of the person we were urged to tell? 8 In the 1960s who played the Rev Mervyn Noote in the B.B.C s sitcom All Gas and Gaiters? 9 What name was given to the impregnated fabric bag that was fitted to the gas pipe and lit to provide the light? 10 What is the name of the government regulator for the gas and electricity industry?

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Boss Direct Boss Direct Limited Folds Road, Bolton BL1 2SB Tel: 0333 5000 000 Tel: 0845 000 1234 Fax: 01204 401 401 Email: sales@bossdirect.co.uk www.bossdirect.co.uk Boss Direct Limited Gorton Road, Openshaw Manchester M11 2DY Tel: 0161 850 1271 Fax: 0161 850 1272 Email: sales@bossdirect.co.uk www.bossdirect.co.uk Boss Direct would like to wish The Woodford Players every success with their latest production -- ʻGaslight’ • Free estimates • Family run, independent and local • Excel in customers service from selection to fitting • Wealth of product knowledge • Fully employed qualified fitters Turners Carpets Wish Woodford Players Every Success With Their Production of Season’s Greetings Turners & Co. (Carpets) Ltd 224 Moss lane, Bramhall, Stockport, Cheshire. SK7 1BD Tel: 0161 439 5623 www.turnersflooring.co.uk sales@turnersflooring.co.uk

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Tickets for our plays can be booked at www.woodfordplayers.ticketsource.co.uk or telephone 0333 666 3366

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