What are the mythical stories that underpin the origins of our city and district? This is a land of urban grit, of strength and courage in the face of adversity. It is also a land of beauty, found in the face of human interaction, in hidden corners of cement and stone. A land of dales and becks and moors.
With the support of Bradford Producing Hub and Bradford 2025 Cecil Green Arts worked alongside Director Andrew Kim to develop three mythic stories of Bradford into large scale puppets and ultimately 3 street acts. They collaborated with designer Naomi Parker on bespoke puppeteer costumes and musician Eddie Kean on new soundtracks to accompany each act. The Mythical Beasts are:
Rombald the Legendary Giant
Lead artist: Harry Kingham
Rombald is a 4m-high illuminated giant puppet inspired by the local legend Rombold of the moor who, it is said, roamed the moors above Ilkley and Keighley. Six performers in stone mason costume animate a series of boulders and rocks which playfully build throughout the act to reveal the monolith of Rombald. Performed to a unique musical soundtrack, with each of the 6 boulders that form the giant being a lantern in its own right, Rombald the legendary giant is a visual and acoustic theatrical experience.
The Bradford Boar
Lead artist: Judy Connor, base welding and construction by Dave Young.
The Bradford Boar is a 3m-high illuminated puppet which entertains audiences animated by its troop of costumed performers. The show, complete with fire and illuminated puppetry, tells a story of ecological significance to a modern day audience. The puppet is wildly and beautifully brought to life, accompanied by its own unique musical soundtrack, weaving together medieval and eastern traditions to create a visually spectacular experience.
The Cottingley Faeries
Lead artist: Katie Jones
Three illuminated faerie puppets emerge from the faerie kingdom to frolic, tantalise and to tease. Performed by the guardians of the Fae, they tell a story of how community can be built through love to triumph over isolation. Beautifully created, sumptuously costumed, with their own unique mischievous music, ‘The Cottingley Faeries’ combine puppetry and shadow theatre to create a highly entertaining street show.
Images by Ian Hodgson