Bradford city centre is soon to be home to a squat - but there will be no evictions.

A thrilling new site-specific theatre event – a performance designed especially for a particular venue - will take over the Brick Box Rooms, formerly The Old Crown, on Ivegate, to recreate an early 70’s communal squat occupied by a radical arts collective.

The event features Bradford writer and actor Kamal Kaan, who explains how

“it will celebrate a moment when Bradford was at the cutting edge of radical arts, theatre and activism, when squatters ruled the streets and believed they could and would change the world.”

Audiences are invited to enter this world and explore the happenings, the music, laughter, trials and tribulations of a group of anarchist artists who want to bring about a new world order.

The performance takes place in the heady days of the early 70s, when a band of artists and musicians seize an old disused pub in the heart of the city. They not only want to change the world, but believe they must have a headquarters for revolutionary ideas to take shape.

This Space is Occupied is the brainchild of Bradford-based theatre company Bent Architect and its artistic directors Jude Wright and Mick Martin, with the script written by and directed by Mick.

The group take inspiration from the happenings and the experimental arts scene of the 1960s, the Paris riots, the Black Panthers, civil rights and Northern Ireland, anti-Vietnam war and ban the bomb marches, with the passionate women’s and gay liberation movements demanding to finally be heard.

Kamal plays Hari, who is, he says, “like a Pakistani Jimi Hendrix.”

“On the surface he comes across as a confident and ferocious activist, but he hides a deep secret that unravels and forces him to question his relationship to himself and the causes that he is fighting for.

“The story chimes with me as my father came to Bradford from Bangladesh in the late 60s and it’s exciting to be immersed in that world, and its fashions, which surrounded him in this city.

“He has the most extravagant costume, that’s true to the 70s, and a wonderful sense of humor despite the hostile environment for the character at that time, with race wars and difficulties facing the South-Asian community.

“However, there is hope in the story, and being in that character’s shoes of that time exemplifies how a lot of those issues and prejudices still exist.”

Also performing is Bradford-based Natalie Davies, Claire-Marie Seddon from Leeds and Manchester-based Jim English. It will also feature a supporting ensemble made up of local community actors who Bent Architect have nurtured.

This Space Is Occupied explores and celebrates The Situationist Moment when Bradford was at the forefront of the experimental arts and radical politics scene.

Since 2006, Bent Architect has created a range of national tours of original new theatre, touring to numerous theatre and non-theatre venues and delivering a wide range of educational activities alongside.

They are interested in exploring issues of the voiceless, those who society feels uncomfortable with and exploring the hidden stories of Bradford, most recently with the site-specific production of Northern School at the Bradford Playhouse about the real life story of the British actress Esme Church. Bent Architect challenges how theatre is experienced by working beyond confined theatre spaces.

*This Space is Occupied is at the Brick Box Rooms (site of the Old Crown), Ivegate, Bradford, runs from May 23 to June 2, with shows on Wednesday to Saturday,starting at 7.30pm. To book tickets visit and find out more visit