We are in a music hall in Victorian England for a rendition of Following in Father’s Footsteps. Eileen Darley – with a nod to Vesta Tilley, the pre-eminent male impersonator of the day – sets the tone of the era with a light-hearted musical entrée that will pay off as the tale progresses. Darley briefly turns narrator, drawing us in as the curtain lifts to reveal a richly decorated room in fog-bound London. It is late afternoon and here we will remain until the intrigue has played out.

Ksenia Logos in Gaslight Ksenja Logos as Bella Manningham in State Theatre South Australia’s Gaslight. Photo © Chris Herzfeld

When Patrick Hamilton penned his thriller Gaslightin 1938, he cannot have anticipated that the psychologists, sociologists, politicians and social commentators of the next century would take to verbing the word to describe the psychological manipulation of a victim into doubting their own sanity. Yet, here we all are, with ‘Gaslighting’ accusations being thrown at all manner of relationships where a clear manipulation amid power imbalance exists. The brilliantly perceptive script about abusive...

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