The Thrill of Love  
The Thrill of Love

by Amanda Whittington

Directed by Karen Hope

Wednesday 13th - Saturday 16th February and Tuesday 19th - Saturday 23rd February, 2019

At the Tower Theatre, Stoke Newington

Based on a true story, The Thrill of Love is a stylishly atmospheric "film noir" style drama. Located amid the seedy glamour of 1950s West End "gentlemen's" clubs, it's a masterful blend of humour and tragedy, set against a soundtrack of Billie Holiday's bruised and yearning voice.

Nightclub hostess Ruth Ellis works hard and plays hard in search of fame and fortune, but ultimately pays a high price to achieve it. In 1955, the self-styled "blonde bombshell" is found guilty of the murder of her violent upper class lover and Ruth finally becomes famous - as the last woman to be hanged in England.

In a desperate race against time to save Ruth from the hangman's noose, her crime and the events leading up to it are re-examined through the eyes of the investigating detective, Inspector Gale, and the three loyal friends who knew her best: cynical nightclub manageress Sylvie Shaw; aspiring "actress" Vickie Martin; and naïve charwoman Doris Judd.

Photography by Robert Piwko

Cast List

Doris : Deborah Ley
Jack : Martin Shaw
Ruth : Beatrice Andrew
Sylvia : Sue Brodie
Vickie : Sarah Assaf


Production Team

Director : Karen Hope
Set Design : Jude Chalk
Costume Design : Lynda Twidale
Lighting Design: Stephen Ley
Sound Design : Rob Irvine
Stage Manager : Richard Davies
Assistant Director: Rosanna Preston
ASMs : Roxanne Cavanagh, Jonathan Li
Lighting Operator : Matthew Ibbotson
Sound Operator : Jacqui Dickson
Hair and Makeup : Laura Jayne Wootten
Set Construction and Get-In : Adam Lowe, Andrew Wilkes, Sebastian Jax, Holly Spice, Angelika Michitsch, Max Batty, Jacques Parraga-Michitsch, Keith Syrett, John McSpadyen and members of the cast & crew

Deborah Ley last performed at the Tower in The Return of the Marionettes in 2016 and is looking forward to working in the new performance space. Deborah first appeared on the stage with ENTENS, in productions of The Dresser, Pack of Lies, Gaslight and Habeas Corpus. Deborah joined the Tower in 1991 and enjoyed performing in both plays and musicals from The Changeling to Underneath the Arches.
This is Martin Shaw's tenth show with the Tower Theatre since he joined the Company in 2011. He has toured to Paris with The Taming off the Shrew, As You Like It and Much Ado About Nothing and has played at various venues in London.

Beatrice Andrew recently appeared in the Tower's production of To Kill a Mockingbird and performed at Shakespeare's Globe as part of Southwark Playhouse. Recent screen credits include The Crown and Summer of Rockets (both for the BBC), and My Dinner with Hervé. By day, Beatrice is Head of Consumer Neuroscience for a digital agency.
Sue Brodie joined the Tower in 2006 and has performed in a number of shows at the Bridewell, Theatro Technis and the Minack. Her last show, Road, was two years ago. She has been a Board member of the Company for the last two years and, having stepped down in September, is delighted to be acting again and to be a part of this fantastic production.
Sarah Assaf is excited to be part of her third Tower production, and her first in the new amazing space. Previously, Sarah appeared in Arcadia, and more recently in Antigone. Her last show was with Questors, where she played Qadira in Multitudes. She has trained with City Academy and the National Youth Theatre.
Karen Hope joined the Tower in 2017, working on Pravda as Assistant Stage Manager and Arcadia as Assistant Director. The Thrill of Love marks her debut as a Tower director. As a writer, her radio plays have been broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and LBC and represented the UK in the Prix Italia awards. As a writer/director, her stage plays have been produced throughout the UK and off-off Broadway, been nominated for the Sunday Times Best New Play Award, and published by Methuen. Her short films have screened at over 30 international film festivals winning six 'Best Short Film' and 'Best Director' Awards. Karen is currently developing a feature screenplay and her next theatre and short film projects.