Once I finished my model box I decided that it would be important to light the model box just to show my plan for the colouring. I haven’t yet got round to photograph it as the scenes take place, but I also think that is an important thing to do.


-Would be used for the court and the prison scene.





This project, although speculative, also asks that we create a 1:25 scale model of our set design. We have constructed this out of card, foam board and any other materials we can get our hands on. This was quite a testing task as I have not done anything like this before. 1:25 is a very small scale and so all the elements are so fiddly to create.

We began by constructing the theatre itself out of card and foam board. To do this I measured the studio space and then converted it to a scale of 1:25. These measurements were then used to create a scale ground plan which we drew out both by hand and on auto CAD. This was difficult to accurately create this box.

All of the walls were made out of foam board, and the floor from card. The floor had a top and bottom piece, and then sandwiched between them were card struts in order to give the structure enough support.

Once the box was constructed I then set to building my set. I mostly used card to create it. I had to research the size of the furniture and the average measurements of stairs and things like that.

Luckily for me my set is quite simple and so can be constructed simply too. I created the platforms separately out of card and then used masking tape to add the details to the corners, I then smothered the whole thing in PVA glue and painted black. This was the process behind most of my set construction.






After concentrating on costume design for so long, moving onto set design seems quite difficult. I think that my time could have been better spent by beginning set design earlier on and taking less time on the costumes.

Having all of my costumes designed definitely aided me when looking at the set design. It has allowed me to understand the play more and to know the characters and how they would move in the space.

Amanda Whittington included a note at the beginning of her play, saying that the scene changes should be filmic and fluid. This is the most important thing for me to consider whilst designing the set. I think that the set needs to be simple, and needs to act as an aid to the actors and not as a distraction.

I think that the play itself is quite a complicated one, and so I would really like to create a set that helps the understanding of the audience. I think it needs to be a simple design so as to not confuse the audience any further.

When it comes to the scene changes, I really like the idea of doing them through using lighting. The idea that part of the stage will be lit up for one scene, and then it would black out as another scene lights up. I like the idea of using levels to create different spaces.

The spaces I need to create are ‘The Little’, ‘The Court’, a bedroom, a prison and a court house. I want to be able to re use spaces in order to make the set less busy. I think that combining the two clubs into one space is a good idea. I have been considering flying in the names of the club to distinguish between the two. Also I think it would be a good idea to use the bar as the prison and the court docs in some way.

Using Getty images I have found a lot of imagery that shows what 1950s London would have been like. I even managed to find images of Ruth Ellis in ‘The Little’ Club itself. I think this really helps when it comes to designing these spaces. I particularly liked the arched shelves that feature behind the bar. I think this would be a good feature to include in my design.

Ruth Ellis in The Little



I think that this idea is an interesting concept, however I think that the scale is too big for the space. The sight lines would be disrupted by the levels. I really do like the idea of levels though, the fact that the actors will be at different heights as they interact.




I think this design is better proportions for the space. It will all be made out of black materials, and will seem a little like frame work. This is to make sure that it is very simplistic.



The finished versions of my costume designs are more refined. I have added colour in order to form a better representation of each character. I have also chosen to show all of each characters costumes on one sheet of paper. I think this allows their journeys to be shown.


-Scene 1: Ruth begins dressing herself. She is in the underwear below, and dresses into the pencil skirt and top. She remains in this outfit until scene 8.

-Scene 8: Ruth becomes the manageress of ‘The Little’ club. In this scene she changes into the red dress below. Here I think she becomes more confident in herself and more showy.

-Scene 9: Ruth comes into ‘The Little’ club wearing underwear and a mens dinner jacket. She is looking a little rough and is searching for alcohol. Here I drew her in the same underwear as the beginning, I wanted to make sure she still looked glamarous.

-Act 2 Scene 2: Ruth is in a coat and hat as she attends Vickie’s funeral. I put her in a statement red coat and a small simple hat. Social etiquette in the 50s was a lot more rigid than it is now with regards to funerals, and so I probably should have put her in black or at least with a black mourning band around her sleeve.

-Act 2 Scene 3: Ruth wears the red dress, she seductivly dances for Gale and begins to remove the dress.

-Act 2 Scene 4: Ruth is left in her underwear with a huge bloody blanket draped around her.

-Act 2 Scene 5: Simple grey button up prison uniform.

-Act 2 Scene 6: Ruth wears a black 2 piece suit and spike heels to her court hearing. She has just re bleached her hair.


-Scene 4: Vickie first appears with a coat on and a suitcase in hand. Here I have put her in a simple yellow wrap coat and a green dress.

-Scene 5: Ruth changes into a pair of green trousers and a cream cardigan. She also wears a green neck tie to glamourise the outfit. This is when she starts working for ‘The Court’ and so can afford a few more items of clothing.

-Act 2 Scene 6: Vickie becomes the judge. I have put her in exactly the same outfit as Ruth.



-Scene 2: Sylvia is wearing her everyday clothing. She is sophisticated in a high waisted full skirt and a tightly fitting jacket. The outfit is inspired by Dior’s new look.

-Scene 8: Sylvia puts on a black coat and black hat. The hat is on the side of her head, as a fashion statement.

-Act 2 Scene 5: Sylvia visits Ruth in jail and so wears her coat and hat again.

-Act 2 Scene 7: She is back in her everyday clothes as her and Doris get on with their work.



-Scene 6: She first appears in her simple cleaning outfit of a skirt, a apron, a blouse and a cardigan. She remains in this outfit for the duration of the play.

-Act 2 Scene 2: Doris puts on a simple black coat and a hat.

-Act 2 Scene 5: She is still wearing the coat and hat as she visits Ruth in jail.

-Act 2 Scene 7: She removes the coat.



-Scene 1: Gale is a shadowy figure wearing his 3 piece suit, over coat and trilby hat.

-Scene 2: Gale removes coat and hat.

-Act 2 Scene 1: Gale sits on the floor in a pile of case files. He is still wearing the suit, however he looks dishevelled. So jacket off, shirt untucked, tie untied.

-Act 2 Scene 3: Back into smart suit.

-Act 2 Scene 7: Gale puts on his overcoat and hat again as he departs from Sylvie and Doris’ lives.




After looking at the characterisation of each character I have begun to sketch ideas from the period. I created simple line drawings of the shapes of the outfits I envisage the characters to wear.




-Simple everyday outfit: I think that her character would be quite promiscuous and so would like to wear figure hugging clothes. This lead me to sketch her in a pencil skirt and high necked 3/4 sleeved top.


-Coat: She is mentioned to have worn a coat to Vickie’s funeral and in a few other scenes. For this I see her wearing a red coat, again to make a statement.

-Prison outfit: For the prison outfit I see her in a very simple, un glamorous practical dress. I found an image of a dress online that i think is perfect. It is a grey button down, long-sleeved, woolen dress.


-Underwear: The 50s was the era of the bullet bra. It was fashionable to have very coned breasts. Most of the underwear was pale peach colour.



-Everyday Clothes: I think she would definitely have been a lady who flicked through magazines constantly. That she would have wanted to be completely up to date with fashion. I think she is more daring as a character, and so trousers could be a good option for her character.


-Coat and suitcase: It is important to consider the fact that rationing was still in play at the time of the play. Each character would have most likely made their own clothes. I think her coat would have been very simple, yet in trend.


-Prison uniform: Exactly the same dress as Ruth’s. Makes her seem like a friendly face.


-Everyday outfit: A very sophisticated outfit, to show her age and how much she thinks of herself. The outfit is based around Dior’s new look.

-Coat and hat: A black coat and hat for the funeral of Vickie. Simple double breasted black coat with a pinched in waist, or a more full free flowing coat.



-Cleaning outfit: I think that she would have had a half apron rather than a full piny. I would like Doris to wear a simple cut skirt and blouse and a cardigan, with simple and practical black lace up shoes.

-Coat and hat: Again Doris wears a black coat and hat to Vickie’s funeral.I think that Doris’ main focus with her clothing choices would be practicality, and so I think she would have a very simple long button up black coat.



-3 piece suit: A traditional 3 piece suit; jacket, waistcoat and creased roll up trousers. He would also be wearing a tie clip and cuff links.

-Over coat and trilby: I think that Gale would be likely to wear a trench coat. The hat and trilby would most likely both be a browny colour.



Designing a play is something that is new to me. I have never had the opportunity to design both the set and the costumes for a production. It is important for all of the designs to work well together, to compliment each other.

I have begun the design process by looking at the costume design. I think that it is important to understand each of the characters before you design their world.

When I read the play I found there was a very strong sense of personality for each of the characters. This then suggests that each of the characters need to be very different in the way that they dress. Having 4 Women to design for is quite a challenging thing. I want to come up with ways to give them strong individuality.

Hair styles and colours are an easy way to set people apart from each other. It mentions in the text that Ruth is a blonde bombshell, and so her defining feature will be this heavily sculptured platinum blonde hairstyle. Doris Judd is the plainer out of the women, she is the cleaner, I see her as being an older more motherly character. This suggests to me that she would have a simple brunette bob and simple slightly out dated clothing. Sylvia Shaw, the manageress, I also see as a older character. I see her as a harsher character, more like a neglectful mother, she cares about her girls because what they do reflects on her. I think she would be more classy and elegant, an older woman who still thinks she’s got it. A simple 50s style up do would allow her to be separated from the rest. Vickie Martin, the tabloid star, I see as being young and feisty. I think she’d be the most daring of them all and the most out there. I decided that she should have a trendy short auburn hairstyle. I also thought about her outfits all being a green colour to complement the red of the hair.

Gale is an easier character to design for. He is the only male in the play, and is a Scotland Yard detective. I think that he would have been a smart man and so thought a 3 piece suit is the best idea. I think that he’d wear all the trimmings, so a tie clip and cuff links etc. He also is mentioned in the text to be wearing an overcoat and trilby hat. I see him as being a you aspirational man who is slightly naive to the world.


THE THRILL OF LOVE  by Amanda Whittington.

Our second project of the term is a speculative design project based on the play ‘The Thrill of Love’. This play is written about Ruth Ellis; The last person to ever be sentenced to capital punishment in the UK. It is a true story.

For this Project we are expected to design the set, costumes, props and look at the lighting. The space that we are designing for is our studio theatre within the uni itself. For this project we do not get budgets or any restrictions; we can do what we want.

‘The Thrill of Love’ is a designers nightmare. It is full of scene and costume changes. It is imperative that all the changes are seamlessly fluid, otherwise the play becomes blocky and does not work. The main challenge I can foresee with this project is finding a way to create a design that works well for the show but that is not complicated. I think there is a huge danger that the design will confuse the audience, and therefore not aid the show.

Extra Thrill of Love