There was added intrigue at last night’s Old Vic opening of Patrick Hamilton’s Gaslight with the arrival of the world’s most famous spy, James Bond - or rather former James Bond, Pierce Brosnan, with whom Gaslight star Rosamund Pike tussled on screen in the 2002 film Die Another Day.

While Brosnan’s own opinion of the Victorian London-set psychological thriller may remain top secret, most first night critics haven’t hidden their enthusiasm for the production or indeed Pike’s performance (See Today’s Review Round-up), so there was good reason for the company’s smiles at the post-show party.

In Gaslight, Pike plays Bella Manningham, a young wife who believes she’s losing her mind. While her husband Jack is out on the town each evening, she can’t explain the disappearance of familiar objects, the footsteps overhead or the ghostly flickering of living room gaslights. However, questions about Jack’s behaviour and true identity are aroused following the unexpected arrival of Detective Rough.

Pike plays opposite Kenneth Cranham as the police inspector and Andrew Woodall as husband Jack. The cast also features Rowena Cooper and Sally Tatum as housemaids who become embroiled in the evening’s intrigue. The production is directed by Peter Gill and designed by Hayden Griffin, with lighting by Hartley TA Kemp. Its limited season continues until 18 August 2007.

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For 1st Night Photos, our Whatsonstage.com photographer Dan Wooller was on hand for the post-show party at the Baltic along with the company, Old Vic artistic director Kevin Spacey and chief executive Sally Greene, and other first night guests including Samuel West, Daniel Evans, Elliot Cowan, Young Vic artistic director David Lan and 007 himself, Pierce Brosnan.

English novelist and playwright Hamilton (whose other big theatrical hit was Rope) wrote Gaslight for the stage in 1938. It was adapted for the British screen in 1940 and, four years later, was made into a much more famous Hollywood version directed by George Cukor and starring Ingrid Bergman, who won a Best Actress Oscar for her role as the psychologically terrorised young wife.

- by Terri Paddock