A LONG-AWAITED production is finally set to thrill audiences after three cancellations and a 17-month pause.

The Thrill of Love, which will mark the reopening of Manningtree’s Manifest theatre, is the first full length production of actor Ben Maytham.

The show, which will run from October 12 to 16, will take visitors back in time to follow the story of Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be hanged in Britain.

The self-styled ‘blonde bombshell’ is convicted of murdering her lover and her crime is re-examined in the light of the society she lived in.

The show, which is set in 1955, is finally taking to the stage after three cancellations and numerous obstacles.

Director Ben Maytham said: “The actors have been doing zoom rehearsals and online trailers from their homes.

“There are five people in the cast and we had to recast two of the parts.

“ I am really excited because it is quite an achievement considering everything we have been through. And we are going on. “

According to Ben, actors are still feeling the pressure of COVID, with self-isolation being the hardest part.

He added: “The whole thing is so unprecedented but I have had such a supportive team.

“I am lucky there are only five people in the cast so we can socially distance on stage.

“Everyone has also been double vaccinated.

“We have been working so hard to put this production on and it will be such a happy nice relief to finally show it.”

Tickets are available from £10 via manifesttheatre.co.uk