David Gilmore directs Gaslight, which is set to run through Feb. 28. Northern Irish actress Flora Montgomery stars as Bella Manningham alongside "Game of Thrones" stars Owen Teale and Ian McElhinney. The cast also features Emily Head, Victoria Lannox Dermot McLaughlin and David Haydn. Previews began Jan. 17.
Here's how it's billed: "As the ghostly living room gaslight flickers and the floorboards creak around her, Bella Manningham becomes convinced that she is losing her mind, as her mother did before her. With her husband away on business, she loses all sense of reality. Does the terror exist in her imagination or are dark secrets living in her home? The surprise arrival of a retired detective leads to a shocking discovery that will shake her respectable Victorian marriage to its core. A powerful psychological drama."
The unconventional production, which scales down the 2,300-seat Ed Mirvish Theatre into an intimate 1,384-seat playhouse, is actually the solution to a producer's dream. Gaslight was originally booked into the 1,420-seat Royal Alexandra Theatre, currently home to a sit-down Canadian run of Kinky Boots. Ticket demand was so strong that producers extended the Cyndi Lauper-scored musical for a third time to March 6.
A longer Toronto life for Kinky Boots left Gaslight homeless; the revival of the Patrick Hamilton thriller, which arrived in Toronto following a U.K. premiere, was slated to begin performances Jan. 19 at the Royal Alexandra.
The only other options for Gaslight were the 2,000-seat Princess of Wales Theatre and the 2,300-seat Ed Mirvish Theatre, both of which were designed to house large musicals. Rather than cancel the production, producer David Mirvish enlisted Princess of Wales architect Peter Smith, who created a 1,384-seat playhouse that will be constructed within the existing Ed Mirvish Theatre.
"Peter has taken the techniques and art of scenic design and transported them from the stage to the audience," Mirvish explained. "He has designed 40-foot-tall decorative walls — essentially scenic flats — that will make the Ed Mirvish Theatre much narrower and bring the audience closer to the stage. He has also narrowed the width of the stage, from 50 feet to 38 feet."
Mirvish stated that this configuration will have the ability to continue beyond the run of Gaslight, with an 1,800-seat configuration also on the table that will allow the theatre to accommodate mid-size musicals like Spring Awakening and Rent.