Our current project is designing for The Thrill of Love, a play written by Amanda Whittington about the life of Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be hanged in Britain for murdering her lover. We had the opportunity to talk to the writer who spoke about how the play focuses on the female roles rather than male as in some dramatisations of Ellis’ life. I like this because Whittington explores the real women behind the façade of glamour and need to please men.
- 1950’s glamour
- Fluid, film quality
- Film Noir
- Femme Fatale
- Political context – male dominated world, pre-contraceptive pill, pre-feminism
- Abolition of the death penalty
I was intrigued by the possibility to see a performance by Kneehigh because they are known for their outlandish, fast-paced style. We could see the set before the show started which I liked because it breaks the fourth wall allowing us into the character’s world. The set was like a playground with slides and levels that made it easy for the story to change from setting to setting. I like versatile set because it aids the actors rather than distracting from the action. There was no protagonist which I liked because actors would switch between characters all the time as well. They would change costume and start playing and instrument whilst something else was happening on another part of the stage. This mix of dance, physical movement, singing, instrumentals and puppetry meant there was never a dull moment on stage which is a good way to keep the audience engaged.