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Talking Statues

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by Bastion Harrison (subscribe)
Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from
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Intimate Stories From Inanimate People
kensington garden, peter pan, peter pant statue, talking statues
Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens

I've just had a phone call from Dick Whittington's cat.

Before you start calling for the looney wagon, please read on. Anyone who says this isn't necessarily crazy, nor are they pulling your leg. In fact they could just be telling the truth.

If you have ever had a conversation with a statue, then the chances are you were drunk or forgot to wear your glasses. Either way, it was probably a pretty one sided conversation. Now it is time to let the statue to the talking.

Feel good initiative, Sing London, have come to entertain city dwellers with a
year long project called Talking Statues, in which they have commissioned writers and actors to animate thirty-five statues across London and Manchester by giving them a voice.

paddington station, the unknown soldier, talking statues
The Unknown Soldier on Paddington Station

To hear what they have to say, simply swipe your phone on the nearby tag, and you'll find yourself getting a phone call from Queen Victoria, Sir Isaac Newton, and even Sherlock Holmes.

There are eighteen talking statues to find in London. For example, Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens has been given a voice by playwright, Ella Hickson, and fourteen year old Daniel Roche from the BBC's Outnumbered.

spitalfields market, goat, goat statue, talking statues
Goat at Spitalfields Market

From the boy who won't grow up to a boy who aged too soon, The Unknown Soldier on Paddington Station was written for by poet, Tony Harrison, and animated by Shakespearean actor, Patrick Stewart.

You might have a vague idea about what these two characters have to say to the world, but others will come as a complete surprise. Can you guess what the Goat outside Old Spitalfields Market is bleating on about? Find out what impressionist, Hugh Dennis, thinks is on this statue's mind.

Perhaps you have some ideas of your own, so why not give it a shot, by entering a competition and writing up to a four hundred word monologue for one of four statues. Choose between the T-Rex at Manchester Museum Isis in Kensington Gardens, Shakespeare at the British Library, or the Leaping Hare by the Broadgate estates. The winning entry will have their monologue recorded by a well-known actor, and be ready to start chatting along with the rest of its mates by Christmas. The deadline for entries is the 17th October, and should be sent to

P.S. Talking Statues began on the 19th August, so if anyone claimed to have had a phone call from Dick Whittington's before then, feel free to call the looney wagon.
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Why? A unique way of hearing stories
When: Until August 2015, competition deadline 17th December
Where: Across London and Manchester
Cost: Free
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