THE THRILL OF LOVE
for Beaufort Players Drama Group | Krystyna Kobiak dir. | 2017
PRODUCTION | SET DESIGN | CONSTRUCTION | PROPS
Set in a world of nightclubs and with a film noir ambiance, Amanda Whittington’s The Thrill Of Love dramatises the infamous story of Ruth Ellis – the last woman to be hanged in Britain in 1955 after being convicted of shooting her lover, David Blakely, in cold blood - and takes a closer look at the woman behind the headlines. The play looks at the tale through the eyes of the women who surrounded Ellis, her friends and colleagues at the clubs at which she worked.
The action takes place in different locations and has some flashbacks along the play. The set was thus designed in order to stage the action in the diverse scenarios it takes place, without breaking its pace.
For that, the stage has been divided in 3 different areas: the back (Court Club; the Little Club and the Court), the front (police station, prison, street and Doris’ bedsit) and the apron (Detective Gale’s house and Ruth’s apartment).
The changes from one place to the other have been handled with some furniture piece changes, as well as some subtle alterations to decor from one club to the other.
“Director Krystyna Kobiak and Producer Ana Bretes had clearly worked together extremely well; between them they delivered a thought-provoking play with first-class attention to detail throughout.
Ana Bretes, Thomas Cobb and Alan Robinson had designed a set which allowed for the numerous locations, the main one being a very attractive Court Club office cum lounge. The plotting took advantage of the whole area and the hall’s entrances and exits were used imaginatively.
Stage manager Ana Bretes co-ordinated efficient, quick and quiet scene shifting
The lighting was superb: atmospheric where required and illuminating particular parts of the set for different scenes. In particular, I really liked the snow on the actors’ shoulders combined with the lighting effect to show the wintry cemetery. The perfectly co-ordinated 1950s-type camera flashbulb light and sound effects were outstanding: I wondered if there was indeed a flashbulb, it was so well timed! The way the hanging was managed with sound and lighting was most effective. The props were excellent throughout, including the record player and a whisky bottle with a cork that made a most satisfactory popping sound.”