The cast of the Gala Theatre’s upcoming production The Fighting Bradfords welcomed a special visitor to the rehearsal room this week when local author and historian Harry Moses dropped in.

The author of The Fighting Bradfords: Northern Heroes of World War One, called into rehearsals to meet the cast and talk about the lives of the real people they will be portraying when they take to the stage.

The Fighting Bradfords runs from Thursday 8 to Saturday 17 September and is part of the Durham Remembers programme of events being run by Durham County Council to commemorate the centenary of the Battle of the Somme.

The cast of Jamie Brown, Micky Cochrane, Chris Connel, Jessica Johnson and Justin McDonald were delighted to welcome Harry, who presented his research into the Bradfords – the North East’s celebrated family of First World War soldiers from Witton Park.

Harry said: “I came across the Bradfords while researching the 9th Battalion of the D.L.I and found them truly exceptional. Their selfless bravery and strong leadership inspired me to find out more about what made these brothers the heroes they were”

Harry spent 30 years researching the Bradfords and his book, which is a fully illustrated story of the brothers, based on official and family sources, was a key resource for Carina Rodney, writer of the script for the Gala Theatre’s production of The Fighting Bradfords.

Carina said: “Harry Moses’ book is not only meticulously researched but it also explores the personalities and relationships of the Bradford brothers. As a dramatist I was interested in their driving motivations, conflicts and personality traits to help tell a story that was not only truthful but imaginative and which had relevance and immediacy for today’s audience.

“Harry’s understanding and warmth for the four brothers, as distinct individuals as well as war heroes, was both inspiring and useful. He refers to the Bradford brothers as ‘my boys’, I hope that the play helps the audience experience a closeness and connection to these boys whom we should all remember as ‘ours’.”

Harry added: “I’m really looking forward to seeing the story of these amazing brothers brought to life.”

The Fighting Bradfords runs from Thursday 8 to Saturday 17 September at The Gala Theatre, Durham. Tickets from £12 – £15 are available by contacting 03000 266 600, visiting the Gala Theatre in person or online at www.galadurham.co.uk  A Pay What You Like performance is being held on Monday 12 September, booking available by phone or in-person only and there will also be a post-show discussion with the cast for all ticket-holders attending the Tuesday 13 September performance.