If not actors in period dress at heritage sites doing monologues or adlibbing in ye olde accents, you’ll be familiar with dry period drama; deadly for mouthing generic assumptions about the past, rather than exploring the beating heart of real people’s wants and needs.
Having great writers overcomes this first problem.
The challenge then is finding enough information about historic figures, or events grounded in fact to set pulses racing. Having two great historians provided the fuel for the fire in this case – Mike Winstanley and Melinda Elder.
James Harker and May Sumbwanyambe have a keen sense of smell for sifting through potential candidates from the record books, and decided quickly where they wanted to dig.
We’ve also had a fantastic bunch of community participants who have set their stall by their own areas of interest and created equally exciting pieces.
The decision to use audio drama was led by the desire to create a permanent and accessible legacy for the project – available forever more to animate heritage sites. New technology in applications like Voice Map makes it possible for anyone with a Smart phone to access embedded stories, and adds a layer of excitement in searching out heritage locations.
We hope you enjoy the stories and characters explored in these pieces, so that a new generation might be inspired to reflect on Lancaster’s rich heritage.
Embedded at historic sites around Lancaster, listen to 4 unique audio dramas for a walking tour with a difference.
You can listen to them here, or a map is available to download on the app linked below, from which you will be able to discover the locations of these immersive experiences.
1698 Part 1 by May Sumbwanyambe
1698 Part 2 by May Sumbwanyambe
History of Violence by James Harker
Black Mary – Part 1 by James Harker
Black Mary – Part 2 by James Harker
Directed by Alex Summers
Sound Design by Karen Lauke & Eloise Whitmore of Naked Productions
Cast: Amy Lomax, Andrew Sheridan, Chris Jack, David Crellin, Jack Deam, Julie Hesmondhalgh, Linford Johnson, Rachel Austin, Sandra Cole
If you do want to take the walking tours:
Before you go:
Using Wifi to save data, download the VoiceMap app to your smart phone (Android or Apple), open it and download all four Port Stories to your handset. Alternatively download the files above to your chosen device. Please follow each link and then click the download icon on the far right of the media player.
Be sure to bring a set of headphones and follow the route descriptions to the story’s starting points:
- Custom House, St George’s Quay
- Lancaster Castle
- Hill Side off Long Marsh Lane
- Slave Trade Art Memorial, St George’s Quay
When you arrive:
With VoiceMap open, the stories will start automatically once you are in position at a starting point. Move between the scene locations to unfold the story – directions will guide you on your journey.