Kala Sangam premieres new play inspired by stories from Bradford residents

Visions of Bradford, a new play based on real stories of Bradford Residents, will premiere at Kala Sangam on Friday 10 and Saturday 11 May.

A thriving city, home to over 500,000 people, Bradford is an icon of the North, but it has faced some of the biggest challenges of the twentieth century.

Devised and directed by Katie Turner-Halliday, who grew up in Haworth, Visions of Bradford is a new show exploring stories from the city, as told by the people who live here – ranging from the power of the mills to the heat of the riots, and eventually glimpsing what lies at the heart of the community.

Combining extensive research and interviews with dozens of residents, Turner-Halliday has created a ground-breaking piece of verbatim theatre. Starting with connections on social media, Turner-Halliday conducted face-to-face interviews with dozens of people and the majority of the script has been compiled using verbatim transcripts of these conversations. The resulting play reveals the complexities of the city, how Bradfordians see their city today and imagines what the future might look like.

Katie Turner-Halliday, Director of Heifer Productions said, “I was interested in asking questions about the Bradford that I don’t know. I grew up just outside the city but was a regular weekend visitor as my Grandma lived in Wibsey. I was drawn to life in the mills, life growing up in a city where you really knew your neighbours. I also wanted to understand better the riots and whether they still have an impact today. For me Bradford is a wonderful city, it has it’s challenges, but it’s also the place I discovered myself – saw my first play, went out to nightclubs, worked, ate and spent time with my family.”

Alex Croft, Creative Director of Kala Sangam said, “Over the last two years we’ve begun to put Bradford and its stories, communities and history at the heart of everything we do at Kala Sangam. Our staff were among the interviewees for Visions of Bradford, sharing our thoughts and memories of our amazing home city, so we’re really looking forward to seeing our words brought to life on our stage. The script that Katie has created really reflects the journey Bradford is currently on – I’m sure people from every community in the city will find that they recognise their city, I can’t wait to welcome them all to Kala Sangam on the 10th and 11th May.”

Kala Sangam – Bradford’s intercultural Arts Centre – is the perfect setting for audiences new to theatre. This spring, Kala Sangam introduced a new ‘Pay What You Decide’ pricing structure for most events. Under the new system, tickets can be booked in advance as usual but audiences don’t pay until they have seen the show. This allows people to not only pay what they can afford, but also decide on a price based on their experiences of a show.

Tickets for Visions of Bradford are now on sale, to book visit www.kalasangam.org or call the box office on 01274 303340.