A determined group of young actors did not allow vandals to steal their love letter to Ellesmere Port.
The budding stars from Action Transport Theatre, based in Whitby Hall, were enjoying a weekend of success performing their new play ‘Bus’ on a moving bus.
All seven performances were a sell out as the young people took audiences on a tour of the town stopping at top local sites including the Waterways Museum, the train station and the greyhound stadium.
One audience member was moved to comment: “It’s a love letter to Ellesmere Port.”
However, the success of the run was marred by an arson attack in Whitby Park on Saturday night. Vandals destroyed the theatre’s what’s on board, outdoor lighting and the doorbell at Whitby Hall along with the allotments shed which has reputedly stood in the park since the 1930s.
Faye Farkas-Nagy, 11, who lives in Overpool with her sister Lili, said: “It’s really sad this has happened but it didn’t stop us doing a great final show.”
Artistic director Nina Hajiyianni commented: “The building is well loved by all the young people we work with who see the spaces we offer as safe and inclusive.
“We hope to be able to secure investment in the building in the near future working with Cheshire West and Chester Council and hope that we can make Whitby Hall a more visible and public facing arts space which the local community can be proud of.
“We mustn’t let senseless acts of damage carried about by one or two individuals deter us from this ambition.”
The play’s cast of 23 is made up of local actors aged between 11 and 24. The bus was kindly provided by local company Helms of Eastham – based in Hooton Park.
The incident saw fire engines from Ellesmere Port and Chester called to a report of a fire off Stanney Lane.
When they arrived crews found the blaze involved the allotment building.
Firefighters were at the scene for about four hours. Police have been informed and are investigating.
The next event at Whitby Hall will be Action Transport Theatre’s annual Family Fun Day taking place on Saturday, September 5, from 11am-4pm.