If statues could talk...
Daniel Roche, Joely Richardson and Dominic West are bringing a series of statues to life in the Royal Parks this summer.
Visit the Talking Statues in Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens and when you touch your mobile phone to a digital reader at the base of the sculpture you’ll be able to hear them tell their story.
Daniel Roche, star of Outnumbered, brings the magical 100-year-old Peter Pan statue in Kensington Gardens to life. When you scan the smartphone tag, you’ll receive a call back with a dramatic three-minute Peter Pan monologue written by acclaimed playwright Ella Hickson. JM Barrie, author of Peter Pan who lived close to Kensington Garden, commissioned this statue in 1902 and it was erected beside the Long Water in 1912, where in the original tale, Peter Pan flew out of his nursery and landed in his bird nest boat made of twigs after sailing from Bird Island.
Screen and stage star Joely Richardson is bringing the Isis bronze sculpture to life as the Egyptian goddess of nature on the shores of the Serpentine in Hyde Park. The sculpture, created by Simon Gudgeon, has become an iconic London landmark since it was installed in 2009. It depicts the goddess in the shape of a three-metre-high ibis bird, looking reflective with its long, thin, down-curved bill. In this particular role, Joely Richardson will be playing to an audience of more than twelve million people from around the world who visit the capital’s most famous park, each year.
"Can you hear me? I am Achilles. King of the Myrmidons. Son of a sea nymph."
The Wire actor, Dominic West, is the voice of Achilles, the 18ft statue that’s located near Queen Elizabeth Gate at Hyde Park Corner and was a tribute to Arthur, Duke of Wellington, for his victories in the Peninsular and Napoleonic Wars. The Myrmidons were brave warriors, trained and commanded by Achilles. When you visit Achilles, just swipe your smartphone on a nearby tag and on the other end of the line, you’ll hear a monologue from a restless Achilles written by award-winning playwright Rebecca Lenkiewicz.
Since these three statues started talking last September, over 7,000 people have listened to them speak. Download a map of all the Talking Statues and plan your visit to The Royal Parks here.