The Wonderous tales of The Whiteball Tunnel
Wellington Community Play 2014

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  2. Managing Director
  3. Managing Director
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The history of Wellington in Somerset and its surrounding areas was brought to life by the The Wondrous Tales of Whiteball Tunnel; a community performance including theatre, film, music and circus telling stories based on the railway tunnel that links Taunton to Tiverton. Actiontrack ran local workshops and pop up events to promote the tales and invite the community to come along and be a part of the telling of the stories.

One strand of the story was about Odette Hallows, a WW2 heroine who lived above the tunnel. She was French and became a spy for the British during the war. She was captured and during her time as a prisoner of war she was quoted to say that it was the memory of the view from her cottage above the tunnel that kept her going.

The second strand was that of the building of the tunnel. Those that built the tunnel were called Navvies (navigators). Thousands of them descended on Wellington and set up camp. The building of the tunnel took three years and over those years there was crime, drinking, fighting, loyalty and team spirit, all stories worth telling.

There were eighty members of the cast aged from 8 – 80! Whole schools were involved as well as local amateur groups, circus performers, singers and people who desired the challenge. The show ran for four nights, five shows and they all sold out. The show took place in St Johns Church Wellington. It brought the community together and ignited theatrical spirit within the town.  The legacy of this project was and continues to be far reaching including the reunion of cast members to record the show’s songs and the establishing of ‘Odette’s Tearoom’ a new business in the high street. 

    
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The Wondrous Tales of Whiteball Tunnel was created in partnership with TakeArt and their project WordPlay . Click the YouTube button above to see their video in responce to the show. Actiontrack also worked closly with Forkbeard Fantasy in the creation of the show. Forkbeard contributed outstanding animations and a live foley band. It was a huge team that made this production such a memorable sucess.