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The Thrill of Love
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7th to 14th March 2015
Click here to list Plays beginning with T

This play, set in London in the 1950s, is based on the life and death of Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be hanged in Britain; a play which engages deeply and meaningfully with the human spirit.

Ruth; an ex-model, nightclub hostess and mother of two, was executed in July 1955 for the murder of her lover, David Blakely. She offered no defence admitting that she had committed the crime, shooting Blakely at point blank range and as an off-duty police officer approached she handed him the gun.  “I am guilty” Ruth said decisively. Then she hesitated: “I am rather confused”.

She was tried and sentenced in one and a half days. It took only three months from the night of the crime to her hanging.  There is an enduring sense of injustice because of Ruth’s background of profound physical abuse, her mental state at the time and the unexplained acquisition of the gun to the jury. The public outcry that ensued was a key factor in the abolition of the death penalty.

Amanda Whittington’s play explores Ruth’s story from a new perspective aiming to show all the tumultuous twists and turns of a short but very intensely lived life without making value judgements. We meet Detective Inspector Gale who guides us through the play questioning conflicting evidence and persevering to try and discover if there were any mitigating circumstances to reveal the ‘whole’ story. We also meet Sylvia Shaw, a nightclub manageress, Vickie, a model and Doris the char. Their stories intertwine to reveal the dreams and disappointments of them all; exploring the emotional truth of Ruth’s world.

A thought-provoking and moving play with droplets of gentle humour.

Ruth Ellis
Jack Gale
Sylvia Shaw
Vickie Martin
Doris Judd
Directed by
Stage Manager
Assistant Stage Manager
Hair and Wig Design
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Clerk of Works
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Sat 7th MarSun 8th MarMon 9th MarTue 10th MarWed 11th MarThu 12th MarFri 13th MarSat 14th Mar
FoH Angie BrignellMike WeaverAlan PeckPaul AllenMaurice TrippLesley RobinsColin Yardley
Bar Keith DunnTina StrackDavid WebsterDominic ClarkePaul HarrisSteve HuntKeith Dunn
Bar Nadia GrieveRichard HarfstBrian HudsonAlice HigginsonPhil NewtonNigel TaylorJohn Young