Jessica Webb and Ami Williamson in BLT’s February 2014 production of ‘The Thrill Of Love’
directed by David Griffiths.
Fri 7 – Sat 15 Feb (not Sunday 9th) at 7.45pm
The Thrill Of Love
by Amanda Whittington
Directed by David Griffiths
Variously described as a Blonde Bombshell and a Femme Fatale, Ruth Ellis famously became the last woman to be hanged in Britain in July 1955. This exciting, new play that premiered in February 2013, explores the lives and relationships of the beautiful, sassy and smart women who sought an escape from poverty in the perceived glamour of the London club scene.
Whilst Ellis pleaded not guilty, she offered no defence and sealed her own fate by declaring whilst on oath: “It is obvious that when I shot him, I intended to kill him”. “No further questions” came the withering reply. The case, and the public outcry that followed eventually led to the abolition of the death sentence in Britain. Certainly today, a Court would have taken longer than 15 minutes to convict and condemn – but sexual abuse and domestic violence were not acknowledged or named and so could not be used as concepts to build a defence upon.
This play also delves deeper into more pragmatic areas that were not pursued in the case such as where did Ruth get the gun. It blends the glamorous mythology with the sharp, social realism of austere post-war London.
Set to an achingly beautiful Billie Holiday soundtrack we are led by Detective Inspector Jack Gale, in film noir style, through the extraordinary events before and after the notorious murder.
You are cordially invited to “The Little Club” to meet the women who are dreaming of Hollywood rather than Holloway.
Ruth Ellis, a nightclub hostess : Jessica Webb
Jack Gale, a detective inspector : Paul Ackroyd
Sylvia Shaw, a nightclub manageress : Jane Lobb
Vickie Martin, a model and actress : Ami Williamson
Doris Judd, a charwoman : Helen Rowe