ONE of the most notorious crimes of passion of the last century goes under the spotlight from March 23 to 28 at Studio Theatre in Salisbury.

Ruth Ellis was the last woman to be hanged in Britain after she shot lover David Blakely dead at point blank range outside a Hampstead pub.

She pleaded not guilty, but offered little by way of defence and her trial was over in days.

Ellis was the stuff of Hollywood film noir movies - painted as a brassy platinum blonde nightclub hostess, bent on revenge when her lover walked out on her.

But was there more to her story than that?

Amanda Whittington’s taut drama The Thrill of Love looks at the woman behind the headlines and the days that led up to the murder.

Playing Ellis is 29-year-old mother of two Jenny Groome, who is returning to Studio after an absence of seven years.

Jenny first joined the company as a teenager in 2006 and appeared in a number of productions, but left to get married and have a family.

“I’m about the age Ruth was when she was found guilty. Researching Ruth’s story has been fascinating and this play is given a very female perspective. She confessed immediately, but nothing is that straightforward,” says Jenny.

Tim Greathead directs a cast featuring Studio regulars Rachel Fletcher, George Cotterill and Jo Flindell with newcomer Phil Howard as Inspector Jack Gale.

Performances start at 7.30pm at the company’s Ashley Road theatre and tickets at £12, 16s and under £8, are available from Salisbury Information Centre in Fish Row or online at

For more information about Studio Theatre go to