by Patrick Hamilton
Directed by Chris Olmsted

Performed at the Stiftstheater Augustinum
From 20 – 24 November, 2012

We are back in the late 19th century, in Victorian London. It is late afternoon, and a blanket of fog has come down, shutting out the outside world. Inside a gloomy, lugubrious house in an unfashionable part of the city, Bella Manningham, withdrawn and anxious, struggles to uphold her dignity and sanity. When her husband Jack leaves the house as he does every evening, Bella receives an unannounced and completely unexpected visitor, a retired Scotland Yard detective named Rough. He is back on the scent of a murder committed 20 years ago and he is determined to close the case.

The play can be seen as a straight mystery thriller, but there is more to discover. It gives us a picture of Victorian society: respectable, polite and moral on the surface, but when you scratch this surface just a little, the darkness hidden underneath is quickly uncovered. As the gaslights go up and down in the Manninghams’ house, we switch from light to darkness, from respectability to inhumanity, sanity slides into insanity. Even the representative of justice, Detective Rough, remains a twilight character whose motivation is never clearly revealed as light or dark. The human mind lives somewhere in between.


Mrs Bella Manningham: Kerstin Feuersänger
Mr Jack Manningham: Peter Ferrow
Mr Rough, ex-detective: John Stevens
Elizabeth, the Manninghams’ cook & housekeeper: June Redeker
Nancy, the Manninghams’ maid: Maria Herschbach-Bosisto
Policeman: Xavier Castillo
The Bonn Players