One of the most popular events of each Heritage Weekend in Bradford was the re-enactment of historic legal cases of Bradford in the old courtroom in City Hall. Entertaining around 400 people each year, the queues to get in stretched through City Hall with many families returning year on year.
These plays were written for over 10 years by Gill Arnold JP (Deputy Head of the West Yorkshire Bench) and performed in full period costume by current and previous magistrates. Each play was based on a genuine court case, with a little artistic license to fill in the facts! Based on court reports ranging from the 14th to the 20th century, re-enactments included the trial of a man who traded his wife for a pig and the pickpocket who prowled the aisles of the Alhambra Theatre when it first opened.
Gill has teamed up with Lydia Pearce of Broadway House Chambers and comedian Paisley Boyd to re-vitalise the most popular performances as a set of radio plays to be broadcast on BCB Radio as part of Bradford Fringe Festival. The radio plays are also supported by Bradford Theatres as part of their Heritage programme.
Each play will be performed by a cast of local magistrates, judges, barristers, solicitors, court staff and law students and aired on BCB Radio and Bradford Fringe’s Podcast Channel every Saturday at 6.00pm, also available on BCB’s listen again service here: https://podcast.canstream.co.uk//bcb/.
All Rise is sponsored by Broadway House Chambers.