This educational courtroom role-play dealing with ‘The Business of Bodies’ will be will be performed to school groups as part of the Young People’s Programme at the BA Festival of Science at Liverpool. It is presented by the Strolling Players of the Outreach and Education Committee of the British Society for the History of Science.
The play recruits its audience as the jury at the trial of ‘Spanish Frank’, who has been apprehended on the charge of grave-robbing. Through the cross-examination of witnesses, including a nightwatchman, a doctor and teacher of anatomy, a lady naturalist, and a housekeeper, issues surrounding the practices and ethics of dissection and the contemporaneous trade in cadavers are explored. The ‘jury’ must then debate amongst themselves to come to a verdict, deciding Frank’s fate.
A short video, the preliminary version of a film which will open the drama, has been uploaded to YouTube and gives an idea of the activities the play addresses. You can see what happened that night in the graveyard here.
Details of the full schools programme for the week, including how to book school groups in for performances of the grave-robbing drama on 9th, 10th, and 11th September, are available here.