I have recently finished working as Stage Manager, Costume Designer & Wardrobe Supervisor for “The Thrill of Love”, a gripping play about Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be hanged in Britain for arguably a ‘crime passional.’ Written by Amanda Whittington and Directed by Sandra Cheesman of The Green Room Productions
This drama takes a fresh look at the woman behind the headlines and at the events that drove her to murdering her lover on that fateful Easter Sunday in Hampstead in 1955.
At just 28 years old, Ruth was the manager of the kind of London nightclub where there’s more than just drink on offer. The third of six children and from humble beginnings Ruth had led a colourful life. She was a divorcee, she had two young children, she had suffered a miscarriage and she was in a passionate but violent relationship. The girls employed at her club worked hard, played hard and dreamt of becoming movie-stars and like Ruth, they liked to believe in the ‘myth’ of love.
Ruth met the well-mannered former public school boy David Blakely, three years her junior at her club through friends. Wealthy David was a hard drinking racing driver and after two years together their volatile, obsessive and highly manipulative relationship ended in murder.
But why did their relationship end in cold bloodied murder? Why did Ruth plead not guilty, show any remorse and refuse defence? Who was she trying to protect and who gave her the gun?