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The Duke in Darkness - Tabard Theatre

The Duke in Darkness

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

SightLine Entertainment is presenting Orlando Wells’ adaptation of Patrick Hamilton’s The Duke in Darkness at the Tabard Theatre – from April 16 to May 11, 2013.

This production, directed by Phoebe Barran, will mark the first time Hamilton’s ‘lost’ play returns to the London stage in over 60 years.

Described as a compelling but touching play, The Duke in Darkness is the third of a trio of psychological thrillers written by Patrick Hamilton in an illustrious career both as a playwright (Gaslight, Rope) and novelist (Hangover Square), which also saw him achieve Hollywood success with Rope directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

France is in the grip of long and bloody civil wars. A Duke and his servant, incarcerated for fifteen years, plot their escape and dream of freedom. But in this world of conspiracy and paranoia, where no one is quite who they seem, what will one man sacrifice for his chance of survival?

London-based playwright and actor Orlando Wells was granted permission to adapt Hamilton’s rarely seen piece for modern audiences by Samuel French and the Patrick Hamilton Estate.

Casting for The Duke in Darkness has yet to be announced.

Chiswick, a suburb of west London and home to The Tabard Theatre, is rich in Hamilton history. The playwright and author lived at Burlington Gardens in Chiswick for 16 years. He died in 1962. In 1968, Doris Lessing wrote in The Times, “Hamilton was a marvellous novelist who’s grossly neglected”. In 2011, English Heritage installed a prestigious Blue Plaque at his Chiswick address.

Tickets: £17, £15 concessions – available from the box office on 0208 995 6035 or online at

Times: Tuesday to Saturday at 7:30pm, Sunday matinee at 2pm.

Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado continues at the Tabard Theatre until March 17, 2013. It will be followed – from March 19 to April 13, 2013 – by the world premiere of Glenn Chandler’s new play The Lamplighters.