Stars lend their voices to statues

Sir Patrick Stewart, Helen Lederer and Hugh Bonneville are just some of the stars bringing a series of statues to life by giving them a voice.

Passers-by can swipe their mobile phones on a nearby tag to make 35 sculptures in London and Manchester speak for a new art project.

Other stars who have delivered speeches or readings include Jeremy Paxman, Simon Russell Beale, Hugh Dennis and Jenna Coleman.

Hugh Bonneville on the Graham Norton Show
Hugh Bonneville (Ian West/PA)

Patrick, who gives a voice to the Unknown Soldier at Paddington station, said: “It brings a sense of intimacy and personality to the statues that surround us all.”

Jeremy reads from his own writings about the MP and radical John Wilkes, Hugh breathes life into a likeness of Brunel and Helen speaks about Dick Whittington’s cat.

Radio 4′s Just A Minute host Nicholas Parsons animates Samuel Johnson’s cat, Hodge, while Jenna voices a statue of a girl reading at Manchester Central Library.

Jenna Coleman at the Glamour Women of the Year Awards
Jenna Coleman (Ian West?PA)

The Talking Statues project has been created by Sing London, a non-profit arts organisation which aims to lift the nation’s spirits and has previously provided street pianos and ping-pong tables in public places.

Creative director Colette Hiller said: “Most of us hardly notice the statues around us – Talking Statues aims to change this.

“They may be cast in stone but their voices have been set free. We are privileged to have a stellar line-up of writers and actors who have put themselves in the shoes – or in some cases the paws – of these statues.”

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