Review: The Thrill of Love
I must start by saying that this play is a must see! To have
a wonderfully written play, about a story familiar to us all,
with a talented cast and director, on our doorstep, is such
The true story of Ruth Ellis; the last woman in Britain to be hanged is explored in this piece.
The play shows us the facts, as well as probable truths,
from a defence point of view through the narration and questioning by DI Jack Gale played by Robert Warburton. Robert lead the audience comfortably and expertly though
the play and gave the detective
a 'film noir' feel which complemented the stylistic quality of the play.
Set in the round, and often in flashback, the play breaks
down the fourth wall and as a member of the audience,
I felt as if I were part of the jury, with the responsibility
of judging the evidence.
Coming to the conclusion that Ruth should have lived
makes the final scenes very emotive and powerful,
especially as you see this emotion on the faces of the
audience members sitting opposite you.
Ruth Ellis was played by Sarah Woodwards who gave us
a thrilling and very convincing performance. She managed
to show the many sides of this complicated woman;
humour, insecurity, ambition, stubbornness,
and tender heart.
Joan Young gives a fantastic performance as Sylvia Shaw;
the hard but secretly warm hearted gentleman’s club manageress. Joan is so convincing and really helps to set
the scene of club life in the 50s. Her ability to act so
naturally make the final scenes with Ruth very touching.
Ruth’s friend Vickie Martin is full of fun, ambition and
naivety which is acted out expertly by Beckie Ragdale,
has some great scenes with fast paced delivery and humour with Ruth.
Lesley Harris plays Doris Judd, the help; she helps clean
up the club but also continually cleans up Ruth’s mess and becomes her confidante. Lesley is endearing and funny and offers a lighter side to the whole production, giving a great balance.
The carefully selected music, which punctuates each scene, adds to the atmosphere of the era very successfully and
I loved that the music became a part of each scene through actors singing or using the record player. There were also what sounded like gunshots and photo flashgun sounds between key moments, and this along with the flashing
lights was very effective, adding to the non-naturalistic
style of the set and staging.
Well done to director Donnamarie Stamp for making all of these decisions as I think this play was expertly produced. Donnamarie has created a piece where stylistic qualities
come through the design and technical aspects and where actors have been coached to give this true story the justice
it deserves by acting truthfully and honestly.
Reviewed by Victoria Evans
Play readings to cast the first play of our 2017/18 Season will be held on Monday 19th and Wednesday 21st June 2017 at 7:30pm in the theatre lounge.
Tom, Dick and Harry by Ray and Michael Cooney is the stage adaption of the hugely popular British TV series, and is being produced by Joan Young.
A cast of 6 men and 3 women of various ages is required.
Call Joan on 07900 431011 for a copy of the script or just turn up to a reading - everybody is welcome!
EXTRA TO THE SEASON
by Paul Carpenter, Ian Gower, David Croft & Jimmy Perry
10th - 14th July 2017, 7:30pm
A stage adaptation of the hugely popular British TV series, which revisits the 1950's and Maplins Holiday Camp with its host of colourful characters. Hi-de-hi, campers!
Annual General Meeting
Friday 21st July 2017, 7:30pm
Anyone is welcome to attend the AGM but only registered members are entitled to a vote.
Nominations for Committee should be received by the Theatre Secretary at least three days
before the meeting.
Retford Little Theatre is pleased to annouce our 77th
Season of plays will open with the farce Tom, Dick and Harry by Ray and Michael Cooney, and
will conclude with the acclaimed play The Rise and Fall
of Little Voice by Jim Cartwright.
The Matchmaker (Thornton Wilder), Perfect Murder (Shaun McKenna) and Waylaid (David J Harrison) complete the season's line up.
Further details of all the plays in the
2017-18 season, including ticket information, can be found here.
The Season Brochure will be available for download here soon, but if you would like to complete the form on the Contact page, we'll post one to you as soon as it becomes available.