15 May 2021HOWAY THE LASSES & WOR BELLA
ED WAUGH is a Northumberland-born internationally-produced playwright from Tyneside, who has two plays due in March 2022 about WW1 munitionette footballers, one is based in Northumberland. The first is at the 550-seat Gala theatre in Durham (postponed twice due to the pandemic). That is a Gala Theatre production and a generic play about munitionettes in a Durham factory. It is called Howay The Lasses.
His second play/project is called Wor Bella, a one-woman play about Bella Reay, one of the many selfless munitionettes who played for Blyth Spartans Ladies in WW1. Bella, born in 1900, was a prolific goal scorer and was the "Alan Shearer of her day": www.worbella.co.uk The play will tour under Ed Waugh's Wisecrack Productions banner: https://www.wisecrackproductions.co.uk
It is a fantastic, intriguing story about these selfless women who worked long, dangerous hours for the war effort but who have been forgotten - they were not recognised on war memorials and forced out of work when the troops were demobbed in 1918! The munitionettes formed dozens of teams in the region and played in front of thousands of spectators - the average gate at Blyth Spartans Ladies matches was 4,000. More than 20,000 people turned up at St James' Park to watch all-women matches. The website www.worbella.co.uk reflects the tremendous effect these women had on people during WW1 as they raised money for wartime charities.
Wor Bella is touring at the end of March/early April 2022, premiering at Blyth Phoenix Theatre for three days. It travels to Hexham Queen's Hall, Alnwick Playhouse, Newcastle Theatre Royal (studio), Playhouse Whitley Bay and Westovian Theatre, South Shields. See worbella website for further details.