Newcastle United legend to make theatrical debut in play

Newcastle United legend Alan Shearer is to make his theatrical debut in ‘Wor Bella’, a play about munitionette footballers during the First World War.

By David Sedgwick
Thursday, 10th March 2022, 5:20 pm
Lauren Waine as Bella Reay.
Lauren Waine as Bella Reay.

The Geordie football superstar and TV pundit has filmed a to-camera piece that involves him talking about Bella Reay (Wor Bella) the Blyth Spartans Ladies centre forward who scored an incredible 133 goals in 30 games between 1917 and 1918.

Shearer's analysis is set against the backdrop of the Munitionettes Cup final in May 1918, which was attended by 22,000 people.

Blyth Spartans Ladies beat Bolckow Vaughan of Middlesbrough 5-0 to win the cup that involved dozens of women's teams from throughout the North East of England, with Bella scoring a hat-trick.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Alan Shearer (left) and Bella Reay.

Ed Waugh, writer and producer of Wor Bella, said: "In latter days Bella has been described as "the Alan Shearer of her day", so who better to ask for his half-time analysis of cup final than the great man himself.

"It is a massive coup for us."

He added: "Alan has been tremendous. As soon as he heard about the story he came on board and provided his time for free.

"To thank Alan for his support, we are delighted to do post-show collections for the Alan Shearer Foundation.

"The Foundation was set up to directly support the Alan Shearer Centre in Newcastle which is run by St Cuthbert’s Care and provides a range of specialist respite, residential and social facilities for people with complex disabilities and acute sensory impairments.”

Alan said: "The story of the munitionettes who saved the WWI war effort – working 60 hours a week in dangerous and physically demanding conditions – and still found time to play football for wartime charities, is both incredible and inspirational.

"I'm proud to be part of this excellent project and play."

Wor Bella, starring Lauren Waine as Bella Reay, will premiere at Blyth Phoenix Theatre in Northumberland on Friday, March 25, before touring the North East, taking in Hexham Queen Hall, Newcastle Theatre Royal (studio), Alnwick Playhouse, Playhouse Whitley Bay and ending at South Shields Westovian Theatre, South Shields on Saturday, April 2.

Visit www.worbella.co.uk for further details.

For further details about the Alan Shearer Foundation visit https://www.alanshearerfoundation.org.uk