by Patrick Hamilton
A special note on copyright for this play:
Patrick Hamilton died more than 50 years ago, making this play completely legal in Canada and any other country where copyright term is "life of the author plus 50 years".
The United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and a number of other countries
have a copyright term of "life of the author plus 70 years",
making it impossible for me to license the play in those countries until January 1, 2033.
BUT! Changes to the copyright laws could bring the Canadian status into question once the USMCA deal
(aka the Trump Trade Travesty) comes into effect. While the wording of the clauses is a little unclear,
it could be that works that have already fallen into the public domain in Canada
could be re-included in copyright protection.
SO, CANADIAN THEATRE COMPANIES! GET YOUR PRODUCTION ON THE BOARDS BEFORE THE CHANGES HAPPEN! CONTACT ME NOW!
Patrick Hamilton's classic thriller (Gaslight in the U.K.; Angel Street in the U.S.) started classic thrillers -- everyone else owes him a debt.
Unfortunately, in a world where most new plays don't even last 90 minutes (and don't have an intermission), Hamilton's Gaslight runs three long acts of slow-moving dialogue with little action.
This new adaptation turns a pretty staid three-act into a fast-moving two-act and keeps the action moving -- along with everything else.
Hamilton's original play is in the public domain in Canada, at least for now, and so this adaptation can happen, at least for now. Don't hesitate, though! Changes to the copright laws are coming!
One evening, when Jack has gone out, a stranger appears with a strange story to tell. Bella is not losing her mind -- and her husband is definitely not the man she thinks he is.
The search for missing rubies and the malevolent presence of Jack keeps the tension at a high level and the plot flowing.
When Gaslight came to Broadway, the name was changed to Angel Street to, I believe, avoid confusion with a similarly named show. A few minutes with a map of London would have shown that "Angel Street" is a one-block lane that had been occupied for two hundred years by the British General Post Office buildings. The Manninghams never lived on Angel Street. Gaslight is the play's only true name.
"If I didn't know the original, I'd never have known that the play had been cut by an entire act! A superb adaptation!" M.R., Toronto
"I want to complain! I had to pay for the whole seat, but I only used the front six inches." J.S. Perth
James Benda and Emily Richardson, June 2014
SO GET YOUR PRODUCTION ON THE BOARDS ASAP -- before I'm forced to withdraw it.
3 female/ 2 male; one interior set