AN immersive play held in a former city centre pub has been transporting audiences back to 1970s Bradford.

This Space Is Occupied comes to the end of its two week run tomorrow, and has been wowing crowds with its unique set up and powerful performances.

Performed by local theatre group Bent Architects, the performance is set in the Old Crown pub, transformed into a squat occupied by a group of artists, misfits and outcasts.

The company has completely transformed the building into a squat, the likes of which were common in Bradford's abandoned mills and warehouses at the time.

It is based on many of the arts collectives that were set up in the city in the 1960s and early 70s, with the goal of changing Bradford and the UK for the better.

Throughout the play there are references to the changes going on in the world at the time, from the Paris riots to the gay rights movement to the planned demolition of Bradford's Kirkgate Market.

Part of the action takes place in the bar area, transformed into a psychadelic hippy den, but much of the show involves the audience following the cast round the building’s three stories and multiple rooms, which before the play had been closed to the public for years.

With the cast meandering through the audience, who often have no idea where in the building the next scene will take place, This Space Is Occupied turns spectators into a vital part of the show.

In the interval they are even invited to create their own protest posters.

The performances are all spot on, and the cast expertly move from youthful passion to world weary despair, often in the same scene and all while being surrounded 360 degrees by the audience.

And an ongoing theme of the play is what happens when idealism meets harsh reality.

However, the highlight is arguably how a long empty pub has found a new life and is once again an important part of Bradford’s cultural scene. The Old Crown has is a character in itself in this play, and shows how any venue can become a stage when you think outside the box.

The final two shows are at 7.30pm tonight and tomorrow.

For tickets visit