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  1. ITV Report

How Manchester's statues are finding their voice

Queen Victoria in Piccadilly Gardens Photo: Manchester Evening News

Seven statues in Manchester are going to start speaking their minds.

That is because arts producers Sing London have commissioned some of the nation's most celebrated writers to pen monologues for a range of iconic statues, which will then be voiced by a cast of actors and comedians, in a project which will run also run in London.

A statue of Alan Turing on a bench in Sackville Gardens, Manchester Credit: Flickr / Bernt Rostad under Creative Commons agreement

From Tuesday 19th August, curious passers-by will be able to swipe their smartphones over plaques on the chosen statues before receiving a 'call back' from the likes of Queen Victoria, Abraham Lincoln or LS Lowry.

Passers-by will be able to swipe their smartphones over plaques on the chosen statues Credit: ITV News
  • Alan Turing in Sackville Gardens, played by Russell Tovey
  • Abraham Lincoln in Lincoln Square
  • The Reading Girl in Manchester Central Library, words written by author Jacqueline Wilson
  • LS Lowry at Sam's Chophouse brought to life by Coronation Street's David Neilson - who plays Roy Cropper
  • Queen Victoria in Piccadilly Gardens, voiced by Prunella Scales
  • Sir John Barbirolli voiced by Timothy West

One final Manchester statue awaits the gift of speech. The T-Rex skeleton in Manchester Museum will be a late talker with his monologue written through a public competition.

The winning piece will be chosen in November, recorded by a celebrity.

Would-be writers can find out more at www.talkingstatues.co.uk

Statue of LS Lowry installed at the bar of Sam's Chop House Credit: Manchester Evening News

David Neilson said: "Lowry is an iconic character for Manchester, the working man. I work just across the way from the Lowry Centre and can see how people valued, still value, his art. He's nicely odd, he's nicely northern - maybe I relate to that! And he's a got a bit of swagger too."

Manchester statues have been produced in partnership with Sing London and Manchester City Council .

Councillor Rosa Battle, Executive Member for Culture and Leisure for Manchester City Council, said:

"This is a fun project involving a host of talented people and we look forward to welcoming it to Manchester. Talking Statues will help people explore and interact with city centre, learning more about its statues in an enteraining and enjoyable way."

– Councillor Rosa Battle
Statue of Sir John Barbirolli Credit: ITV News