A THEATRCIAL event marking the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta took place at Bradford's City Hall today.

Mind the Gap and Freedom Studios set up the Magna Carta on Trial project after receiving Heritage Lottery funding of £49,700.

It has allowed a range of people, at Grange Technology and Carton Bolling colleges, Mind the Gap theatre company and Freedom Studios' Thursday Thespians group, to learn more about the ancient document, which was signed by King John at Runnymede in 1215.

A series of workshops on the Magna Carta, was held at the schools earlier this year, and last month Judge Jonathan Rose also gave them an insight into the continued importance of the document today.


Although just three of its clauses remain law in the UK, Magna Carta set a precedent which led to it influencing later works domestically and abroad, including the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and the post-Second World War UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Jude Wright, a creative partner in the Bradford project, said: "The project as a whole is about the young people really exploring the Magna Carta, both looking at its heritage and its history and also what it means today.

"We have spent some time working in the schools and the different groups, but we have also come together over half-term.

"We have been trying to really understand the history of it but also how that impacts on our lives today. So all of the performances have been inspired by that research and have come completely from the young people themselves."

Freedom Studios will also create a short film to educate young people on the Magna Carta, which will be distributed to local schools, with Mind The Gap creating a workshop for schools and community groups this autumn.

The theatrical event, which took place in the entrance to City Hall and in the Council Chambers, included a protest on the City Hall steps in defence of people's rights, a musical potted history of the Magna Carta, a performance by Grange Technology College students exploring the power of togetherness when facing adversity, and Carlton Bolling College students exploring the issues of legal aid cuts.