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Statues in London and Manchester ‘Start Talking’

Date Posted: 20/08/14

Statues in London and Manchester ‘Start Talking’

Under normal circumstances, if a statue started talking to you, you’d probably think you were a little bit crazy, but a new arts project has given a voice to dozens of still-life figures in London and Manchester.

Famous names, including Prunella Scales, Patrick Stewart, Jeremy Paxman and Hugh Bonneville, have recorded monologues for some of the many statues located in the two cities, providing visitors with an insight into the people they represent.

Patrick Stewart, for instance, gives voice to The Unknown Soldier in Paddington Station, while Jeremy Paxman talks for John Wilkes and Dominic West rants as Achilles. Another statue that is likely to enthral is Couple on Seat, which is situated in the City of London. Real-life married couple Meera Syal and Sanjeev Bhaskar provide an insight into both sides of the relationship represented here.

Isaac Newton, Brunel, Sherlock Holmes, Queen Victoria and Peter Pan are just some of the other still-life characters that are being included in the project in London.

Up in Manchester, Alan Turing, Barbirolli and LS Lowry are among the statues being brought to life. 

What’s more, each of the monologues performed by the statues has been written by some of the UK’s top writers - Jacqueline Wilson, Anthony Horowitz, Elizabeth Day and Tony Harrison are among those who have contributed to the project, which was set up by Sing London.

If you want to hear what any of these figures have to say, you simply swipe your smartphone over the sign next to the statue. Your phone will then ring and you’ll hear the character talking to you.

Colette Hiller, artistic director of Sing London, told the Sunday Times why she came up with the idea: “Most of us hardly notice the statues that surround us - and yet, there they are. I found myself thinking ‘If these statues could talk, what stories would they tell us?’ Like all our projects, Talking Statues aims to connect people with their surroundings.”

You’ve got plenty of time to hear what the statues have to say, too, with the scheme running for a full year in both London and Manchester - it could bring a new dimension to a short city break.

Posted by Hayley Brent

UK Destinations News

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