Walk This Play: a new series of free location-based audio plays

Posted 17 May 2021

A series of exciting new audio plays are available to take you on a journey through Manchester.

We're thrilled to have commissioned a brand new audio play, Monuments, on behalf of Step Up MCR, that is designed to be listened to as you take a stroll through the streets of Ancoats. 

Step Up MCR is a place-based giving scheme working in Ancoats, Beswick, Clayton and Openshaw. They look to support community focused ideas and help them to flourish by connecting people, growing the community, and supporting them with funding, resources, space or their own expertise.   Their belief is that creativity is really important in a thriving community, and they show this in their community engagement and fundraising events just like Walk This Play.

This audio performance is free to listen to, and is part of a new project called Walk This Play. It will be available for you to download at the end of May 2021 and we're really excited to hear it.

The idea behind Walk This Play comes to you from ThickSkin Theatre, a Manchester based theatre that aim to inspire young, new and diverse audiences. The project itself is a series of location-based audio plays, designed for people to listen to as they walk.

The ongoing pandemic has been the cause of a really difficult year for theatres and theatre-goers alike, as people have been unable to attend performances in person. This new series of audio plays are created with theatre lovers in mind, to provide some cultural relief for those who have missed the experience of live performance during the last year.

The production of the play combines storytelling with music and sounds to create really full experience, and paint a rich picture of the people living in our communities.

How it all works.

To take part in this experience, you'll need to download a free app on your mobile phone.

Simply download the ECHOES app, plug in your headphones, press play and enjoy the performances while walking a specific route, which is mapped out for you on the app.

As you walk around the area, the app detects your location and plays new chapters of the story depending on where you are, so you won't miss anything!

At the moment Walk This Play are launching three of these unique performances, two of which take place in Manchester. These are:

  • Central Manchester - available from 19 April In association with The Royal Exchange Theatre, supported by Arts Council England  
  • Ancoats - available from 30 May Commissioned by One Manchester on behalf of Step Up MCR

The Ancoats performance, called Monuments, is completely free to download and it features stories and voices from some of the people in our communities in Ancoats, Clayton, Beswick & Openshaw.

The performance is even narrated by top talent such as Julie Hesmondhalgh (known for her role as Hayley Cropper in Coronation Street) and promises to be a wonderful experience! The audio play celebrates the monuments, the buildings, and the people that make the communities and that keep the beating heart of the area alive.

"I am cobbles. I am red brick and stone. I am cotton mills. I am the water racing through the canals, connecting Manchester to the rest of the world. I am communities that care. Looking for a connection".

The performance is suitable for all ages, and will be available for six month after the initial release date.

For more information about this performance or to learn more about ThickSkin Theatre, please contact Max Emmerson at max@thickskintheatre.co.uk.