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TEAM Wor Bella
The first (fantastic) tour

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  Lauren Waine
  "Wor" Bella Reay (2022)

We were delighted to have Lauren Waine on the team to play Bella Reay in our one-woman show, Wor Bella

 

Lauren is a brilliant actress and will continue the success of our other hugely successful one-hand shows Hadaway Harry and Carrying David.

 

Lauren has a wealth of experience on stage and screen. Starting her career as a young teenager learning her craft treading the boards and singing in Sunderland, South Shields and Newcastle, Lauren was accepted into the prestigious Liverpool Institute for the Performing Arts (LIPA) in 2014. Such is her talent, that she was awarded a Laurence Olivier Bursary.
 

The Sunderland-born actress' theatre credits include: The Snow QueenThe War of The Worlds (Northern Stage); The Importance of Being Earnest, Snow White, Robinson Crusoe (Gala Theatre, Durham); Skellig (The Nottingham Playhouse); Wormtown (The Customs House, South Shields, and Alphabetti Theatre, Newcastle); Dr Faustus (The Sam Wanamaker Festival, The Globe); Pericles’ (Brighton Open Air Theatre); RENT! (Paul McCartney Auditorium); Three Jumpers (Unearthed Theatre/ Edinburgh Fringe); Dracula: Die Laughing, The Thirteen Streets, Allo Allo, Charlie’s Aunt, The Laffalang (ION Productions); The Great Geordie Songbook (Sage Gateshead).

 

Lauren's TV credits include: Fee (The Dumping Ground, CBBC/BBC, Season 7) and Molly (Vera, ITV, Season 8).

 

Her other credits include: The World’s Worst Dinner Party (Channel 4/ Roundhouse Pictures), CoppaFeel Spokesperson (TV & Radio Commercial) and Petra (The Infirmary, Audible Audiobook/Amazon).

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Lauren Waine
Perusing the "workshop" script​.

  Andrea Scrimshaw
  Technical Stage Manager (2022)

 

We were delighted to have Andrea Scrimshaw on board as the Technical Manager for the tour. Andrea came highly recommended and fitted immediately into the Wor Bella team.

Since graduating from Northumbria University with an MA in Theatre and Performance, Newcastle-based Andrea - a freelance Stage Manager and Technical Stage Manager - has worked with a variety of theatre and dance companies in various stage management roles throughout the UK. 

Her most recent credits include: Stage Manager - Tree (Alphabetti Theatre, Newcastle); Assistant Stage Manager – Robin Hood (Gala Durham, Durham); Technical Stage Manager - Drag Me to Love (National tour), Bonnie and the Bonnettes; Stage Manager - The Lost Happy Endings (National tour) and balletLORENT.

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The Wallaw, Blyth
Lauren as "Wor Bella" outside the former Wallaw cinema, Blyth.

  Lauren at The Wallaw (J.D. Weatherspoon), Blyth

Lauren Waine, who starred as Bella Reay in the fantastic Wor Bella 2022 tour, pictured outside what was the Wallaw Cinema (now a J.D. Wetherspoon pub) in Blyth.

 

The cinema opened on November 16, 1937, with seating for 1,441 people. However, before that, it was the site of the Blyth Hippodrome, built in 1902 by William Tudour. The circus proprietor is credited as the man who brought ‘moving pictures’ to the town. There is no doubt the munitionettes, their families and friends would have regularly visited the Hippodrome before its closure in 1920.

 

Built for the Wallaw Pictures Ltd. chain of Ashington, Northumberland, the Wallaw was designed by the cinema architecture firm Percy Lindsay Browne, Son & Harding (the most eminent firm in their capacity in the region). The company designed many cinemas in the North East, but this grade II listed, Art Deco building is regarded as the firm's best-surviving work. The architect responsible is thought to have been Charles Alfred Harding. 

 

On March 24, 1955, the building was taken over by the Associated British Cinemas (ABC) chain, which operated there for 15 years until 1970, when an independent operator took it over. Then, on January 2, 1972, the London-based Classic Cinemas chain took over. This lasted five years until another independent took over on June 24, 1977.

 

A half-decade on, the now single-screen cinema closed on December 11, 1982. But, just 16 days later on December 27, 1982, it re-opened under another operator. It also served as a theatre, with Ant and Dec making their stage début in the 1980s.

 

In July 1987, the auditorium was subdivided, with the two small screens hidden beneath the balcony. These are reported to have been "comfortable but undistinguished".

 

The main screen, however, maintained all its original fittings, with covered lighting in full working order, and decorative plasterwork and wood facings to walls intact.

 

After being refurbished and redecorated in 1998, the building was designated Grade II Listed by English Heritage.

 

Sadly, as the credits and final soundtrack notes of Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ sounded, the landmark Wallaw Cinema closed in 2004. The building stood empty and unused for nine years until it was purchased by the J.D. Wetherspoon chain of pubs. After renovation, the new-look pub opened on December 10, 2013, as The Wallaw.

 

The impressive Art Moderne foyer contains original fittings, including metal handrails, balustrades and inlaid doors. The projector on display in the foyer was found in the building after purchase. It had been left in the projection room, still bolted to the floor, pointing at the main screen.

 

The beautiful, impressive Wallow is well worth a visit, even from a historical perspective.

Retying the knot of history 

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Blyth Spartans FC girls' teams line with the Wor Bella (2022 tour) actress Lauren WaineThe invitation to meet the players came from Kirsty Elliott, who is the coach of Blyth Spartans Juniors.

 

Kirsty coaches the u9 and u13 girls, and this is the first time in many years Spartans have girls teams again. Kirsty said: "The story of Wor Bella is fantastic and it's brilliant to think we are re-tying the knot of history.

"I can't wait to see Wor Bella and I'm hoping to be joined by the players and their parents."

VIDEO: Wor Bella information
03:19
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