The Phoenix Theatre, Blyth

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Wor Bella




Written by Ed Waugh. Directed by Russell Floyd and starring Lauren Waine.

Having scored theatre gold with their collaborations on Hadaway HarryCarrying David and The Great Joe Wilson (now a book of plays called Geordie Plays: Volume One), writer Ed Waugh and director Russell Floyd team up again to bring to life the incredible story of WW1 women's football.

When men were called up in 1916 after slaughter in the trenches, women flooded into the munitions factories and saved the war effort. Despite their dangerous jobs and long hours these heroic "munitionettes" also played football to raise money for wartime charities.

Teams were formed throughout the country, including many dozens in the North Eastplaying in front of crowds ranging from 4,000 to 22,000 people!

A novelty at first, these selfless women soon forged competitive, skilful sides and superstars emerged. The top team in the region was the unbeaten Blyth Spartans Ladies, and Bell Reay was their free-scoring superstar.  Notching 133 goals in 30 matches, WorBella was the Alan Shearer of her day.

With no leagues, and matches deemed to be "friendlies",  what made the North East unique was that 30 teams competed in a knock-out competition for the Alfred Wood Cup.

WorBella is the story of Blyth Spartans Ladies' remarkable munitionettes' cup victory in May 1918. A Northumberland triumph!

This production is supported by Arts Council England and Blyth Town Council.

The Phoenix Theatre
37a Beaconsfield Street Blyth Northumberland NE24 2DS GB