A LOVE Story on Leeds Road and A Compendium of Mythical Beasts are amongst nine projects to benefit from grants awarded by Bradford Production Hub (BPH).
Lisa Mallaghan, BPH project director, said: “Bradford Production Hub is a live arts development project and we have invested £81,000 in Make Work grants to artists who want to develop and showcase their exciting new performances.”
Lisa said nine projects have been successful in receiving the funding, which is the first round of grants in the four-year project which has been funded by Arts Council England.
“We had 104 applications from a wide variety of artists, nine of which were successful, and they ranged from small research and development projects to full production.”
One of the large scale productions, A compendium of Mythical Beasts by Cecil Green Arts, is an outdoor puppetry performance which uses giant puppets inspired by Bradford stories, including the Bradford Boar, the Cottingley Fairies and Rombalds the Giant.
“There all Bradford stories that will be created using giant puppets,” said Lisa. “These beasts were mysteriously awoken by the quietness of the full lockdown.
“These beasts will be internally lit for the performances and their makers are hoping to have them ready in time to coincide with Christmas shopping.
“In an ideal world because of COVID-19 people will not be encouraged in large numbers for these performances.”
Lisa said one of the smaller research and development projects, A Love Story on Leeds Road, is an “exciting and very interesting project” which is the brainchild of writer Kamal Khan.
“I grew up in BD3 and my mum still lives off Leeds Road, so for I drew my inspiration for this story from there,” said Kamal. “In the past ten years, Leeds Road has gone from a bit of wasteland to one of the most popular places in Bradford.
“Its reputation was slightly damaged before, but for me it’s now about celebrating the culture of the area.
“There is a lot of juxtaposition in the area. For example, the house that David Hockney grew up in now quite amazingly faces a giant mosque.
“That road is a symbol of who I am and the stories I like to make.
“Leeds Road is one of the Seven Wonders of Bradford, along with places like Saltaire, Ilkley, City Park, the Alhambra and Waterstones. I did Twitter poems about these places and it got published by Visit Bradford.
“It went viral, but the one that people re-Tweeted the most was Leeds Road. So even though it has got this reputation, it was the one that people were most interested in.”
Although Kamal project’s is still is in the research and development phase he has teamed up with film director Dominic Leclerc.
“We first met on Leeds Road,” said Kamal. “And this week we’ve been going up and down Leeds Road taking pictures, talking to people and collating information that we will use to create a film, audio documentary or play.
“The £3,000 grant we’ve received will buy me some time to write the story so we can present a script about Leeds Road.”
When asked about the title of the project, A Love Story on Leeds Road, Kamal said: “I’d love to do a Romeo and Juliet style story on Leeds Road but it also might be my love story with Leeds Road.”
Amongst the other projects awarded grant funding are The Bull and The Moon by Spanish choreographer Carlos Pons Guerra and DeNada Dance Theatre, an outdoor dance theatre performance with a gender identity theme.
Hidden Winter by SBC Theatre and The Herd is a children’s adventure which invites them to think about what winter means to them.
Full English by Bent Architect in Association with Natalie Davies is a funny one-woman theatre show which aims to pay tribute to the strength of women who raised the first generation of mixed-race children in Bradford in the 1960s.
Kooghi by Kausaer Mukhtar aims to celebrate the literature and culture of Azad Kashmir, an area of Pakistan from which most of the British Pakistani population of Bradford originated.
Intercultured by Mussarat Rahman, in collaboration with BIASAN, is a creation which aims to capture the stories of asylum seekers and refugee communities who are rebuilding their lives in a foreign land.
Destination Bradford by Adam Hughes and Margot Przymierska is a theatrical experience which takes its audience through the history of Bradford’s Eastern European community.
The Thyme Café by Kerry Wright is small scale comedy drama which deals with the experience of the prison system.
Lisa added: “Bradford Production Hub is not just about funding these projects but it’s also set up to help and support them in making these future pieces.”