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News article

11th July 2017

St Brendan’s played host to around 100 representatives from across the South West legal, care and education sectors on Thursday, for an evening of debate and performance.

Students in character

Students in character

St Brendan’s worked in partnership with His Honour Judge Stephen Wildblood QC of Bristol Family Courts on a unique and pioneering project, which brought law and performing arts together.

The event was brought to the city by Hurricane Storm, a group of talented St Brendan’s performing artists with a keen interest in the justice system. HHJ Stephen Wildblood QC worked closely with the group to produce an interactive performance, which explored a range of difficult domestic situations. ‘The State v The Family: Drawing the Line’ was the first project for the group and saw our actors perform scenes of domestic violence, public law adoption and parent imprisonment.

After watching the dramatic scenes unfold, the engaged audience asked the characters questions about their experiences and debated the situations in front of them.  The audience, comprising of solicitors, health care workers, teachers, social service ambassadors and informed authors, engaged in informative debate which challenged the justice system and considered the greater impact on the family after legal decisions are made.

Written by HHJ Stephen Wildblood and supported by St Brendan’s Law Teacher Abby Mahony and Academic Mentor and Performing Artist Keran Brady, the scenes were entirely accurate and comparable to real-life cases seen in Family Courts across the nation every day. Congratulations to all who took part in this one-of-a-kind event!