There are ten Talking Statues in Norwich. One of them is our friend:
HAYMARKET/HAY HILL, Norwich
written by: George Szirtes
animated by: Adam Buxton
"Browne's voice has a lovely but courteous informality, the informality of a practical man of great curiosity in the act of thinking and musing. I thought he should introduce himself as he might to a modern stranger and to mention his work and interests. He might even be a little modest or ironic, about his "trifles and profundities"
Artist: Henry Alfred Pegram
Sir Thomas Browne (1605-1682) was a polymath and author whose varied and original works demonstrate the vast scope of his interests and learning. Browne was deeply curious of the natural world and had a keen interest in the burgeoning field of scientific enquiry. His writings range in subjects from science and medicine to the religious and esoteric. His writing style is equally diverse, making his body of work very difficult to categorise. Browne chose to settle in Norwich to practice medicine and spent the majority of his years in the city.
Once you have listened to Thomas, explore ‘Homage to Thomas Browne’ the objects/sculptures at Thomas’ feet, designed by Anne & Patrick Poirier.
Visit Thomas’ grave at St Peter Mancroft Church next door to his statue.
Learn more about Thomas at his dedicated website (http://www.sirthomasbrowne.org.uk) produced by The Shift Norwich(www.theshiftnorwich.org.uk)
View documents and other materials relating to Thomas at the Norfolk Records office(http://www.archives.norfolk.gov.uk/view/NCC
About Talking Statues
If statues could talk, what stories would they tell?
Ten of Norwich’s historic statues have been given the gift of the gab!
Stephen Fry and Olivia Colman are amongst the writers and actors bringing the city’s statues to life. Together, they tell Norwich’s story.
Talking Statues, designed by Sing London, has seen statues brought to life in London, Manchester, Dublin and Chicago. Now local production company Creative Nation are bringing the project to Norwich, England’s
first UNESCO City of Literature with the help of partner organisations across the city.
Working with the National Centre for Writing, they have commissioned some of Norwich’s most celebrated writers and actors, alongside emerging local talent, to give Norwich’s statues a voice.
Some approaches are dramatic, others comic and others pure flights of fantasy. All aim to persuade the public to look at the statues, and their place within the city, with new eyes.
The ten statues are:
• Lord Nelson - Written and voiced by Stephen Fry. In the Cathedral Close. How does Nelson feel about how we have chosen to remember him, and how did being from Norfolk make him the man he was?
• Julian of Norwich - Written by Sarah Perry and voiced by Olivia Colman. Also at the Cathedral, Julian wants to tell you a story about how she came to be here, if you could spare her a moment?
• Peace - Written and voiced by Molly Naylor. At the junction of Agricultural Hall Plain and Castle Meadow. Peace wants to talk to you about her role and what she can see
from up high.
• The City Hall Lions - Written by Karl Minns and voiced by The Nimmo Twins. At the front steps of City Hall. The Lions have 80 years of history to share with you, from their unique perspective of the city.
• Thomas Browne - Written by George Szirtes and voiced by Adam Buxton. In the Haymarket. Thomas is reflective of his life, work and persona.
• Will Kempe - Written and voiced by Luke Wright. In Chapelfield Gardens. Having been so energetic in life, Will has lots to say about his current situation!
• Peter the Wild Boy - Written by Alexander Gordon Smith and voiced by Keith Skipper. In Bridewell Alley. Allegedly mute in real life, what has Peter got to say for himself and what accent might he have?
• Amelia Opie - Written by Megan Bradbury and voiced by Zoe Telford. On Opie Street. Amelia would like to tell you what motivated and drove her in life and her work.
• Snap the Dragon - located at the Museum of Norwich at the Bridewell, Snap is the subject of our Under 16’s public writing competition. (More below).
• Missing Statue - located at the Church of St John Maddermarket, this post reformation space is the subject of our Over 16’s public writing competition.
How to hear Talking Statues
To hear them speak, when you get to a Talking Statue, look for the sticker above. Use your smartphone to scan the QR code (you may need to download a QR code scanner app from the Apple or Play stores) or enter the short URL, press GO when prompted and hey presto, the statue calls you on your mobile phone. When you receive your first call, you answer it just like any other call to hear the short piece read by one of the 'voices'.
Your phone will take you to the website where you can learn more about the statues and download a map showing you the locations of other statues.
There is no charge to access Talking Statues, but network charges apply. Thanks to Norwich Business Improvement District (BID)/VisitNorwich, you may access them via their FREE city centre WIFI offer.
For more information about the app and the city, including events, download the free VisitNorwich app or check out visitnorwich.co.uk.
Printed maps are also be available at locations across the City and transcripts are available on request for the deaf and hard of hearing.
For more information
We would like to invite participants to share their experience using
#talkingstatuesnorwich on social media.