Talking Statues

Sherlock Holmes, looking down on the rest of us from his plinth outside Baker Street station, has started talking to people.  He found his voice thanks to Talking Statues, a project launched by Sing London in August 2014.  Thirty-five statues in London and Manchester are now talking.  Four more statues will follow soon.

To hear the statues talk, you need a smartphone.  When you are close to a sculpture with a Talking Statues sign, follow the instructions and the statue will call your phone.

NW1 Station Approach

I took a call from Sherlock Holmes – in reality a monologue written by Anthony Horowitz and recorded by actor Ed Stoppard.  Holmes talks about his hat and pipe and complains about people leaning on him while they wait outside the station.  Within seconds I was convinced that all statues everywhere should have this sort of commentary.  Especially if it comes with a touch of imagination and humour.

The technology works.  You just listen to your phone, and no loudspeakers are needed, which makes it a private, voluntary thing.  I mean, I enjoyed my call from the great detective, but if I commuted to work through Baker Street station, I wouldn’t want to hear him through a loudspeaker every morning.

leaping hare moon and bell

A few days later I was in Broadgate, London EC2 to see “Leaping Hare on Crescent and Bell” by Barry Flanagan.

The Leaping Hare is still waiting for a voice.  Talking Statues and Audible.co.uk have launched a competition to find stories for the hare and for three other statues.  I’ve already submitted my entry.  You’ve got three weeks to write something better before the closing date of 17 October 2014.  Start thinking about what a Leaping Hare might have to say, if it could speak.   The rules are on the Talking Statues website.  Good luck!

Leaping HAre over construction site

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11 Comments Add yours

  1. Wendy Kate says:

    What a great idea! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Karolyn Cooper says:

      Yes, I hope other people enjoy it as much as I did.
      After I’d written the blogpost, I found this article from The Guardian.
      http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2014/aug/19/jeremy-paxman-john-wilkes-talking-statues

      Like

      1. Wendy Kate says:

        Ah! Wonderful. Thanks for that 🙂

        Like

  2. linnetmoss says:

    This is the coolest thing I have heard about in a long time! Thanks for the article link!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Karolyn Cooper says:

      You’re welcome!

      Like

  3. Andrew says:

    If well executed this could be fun. I wonder if it will catch on. Whatever next?

    Like

    1. Karolyn Cooper says:

      It is well executed. I hope they do more statues in more cities.

      Like

  4. Kim in Fiji says:

    LIKE LIKE LIKE LIKE (jealous!)
    First time I’ve ever really wanted to own a smartphone
    (and a ticket to London)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Karolyn Cooper says:

      You do realise, don’t you, that all your blog readers are jealous of you, and would love a ticket to Fiji?!

      Like

  5. pilipala51 says:

    What a great concept, bringing history to life.

    Like

    1. Karolyn Cooper says:

      Not just history – novels and mytholology as well. It’s fun.

      Like

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