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Talking Statues at Broadgate

Earlier this year two of Broadgate’s sculptures started talking! The Broad Family daughter’s monologue was written by playwright Lucy Caldwell and animated by Game of Throne’s actress Maisie Williams and the voice of Eye-I has been written and animated by comedian Sara Pascoe. 

We now welcome two new voices to our art collection – television presenter Clive Anderson as a day dreaming commuter in George Segal's Rush Hour and BBC Radio 2 presenter Ken Bruce as Barry Flanagan's Leaping Hare on Crescent and Bell.

The Leaping Hare monologue was penned by Talking Statues public writing competition winner, Ann Wickham. Ann has always scribbled for fun and this is her first writing prize. To hear how the Leaping Hare left the countryside for a life in the big City, simply tap, type or scan your smart-phone over the purple sign in front of the sculpture to receive a call.

There are Talking Statues all over the City of London – download a map showing their locations here.

The winning script was chosen from over 90 entries and a final shortlist of five. Read the other four short-listed entries below to hear what the Leaping Hare could have said instead.

Monologue by Julian Ross Davidson

Writer Bio: Julian Davidson is an ex- Deep Sea Diver who has now surfaced in Buckinghamshire, where he lives with his wife Dawn.

"SOUND: PEALING OF BELLS

HARE
Hear Ye! Hear Ye!
The moon she carves a heavenly arc as
the earth below her spins, yet time
itself will stop awhile, to hear a
lover's hymns.
I'm over the moon you stopped by, I
really am. Glad all over you took the
time from all that waxing and waning
and the to-ings and fro-ings and
comings and goings. Delighted you
dropped by.
It took a great leap of faith to get
here, it really did, but we made it.
And where did you say you came from? Oh
don't tell me, don't tell me, let me
guess….Got it...back there, you came
from back there, from your past. Am I
right ? Ha!I knew it, I knew it.
And where are you going? Oh, I know
this one as well, I really do ….wait a
minute.. got it! You’re going forward,
to your future
Ha! Am I right, am I right?
Of course i'm right. Right here and
now. I'm always here because it's
always now.
Ha! Ha! It's forever now
Gotta fly..Bye!
……return to life ! Ha Ha!

MUSIC: RUN RABBIT RUN
(Flanagan and Allen 1939)" 

Monologue by Katie Hutchcraft

Writer Bio: When Katie’s not busy nursing for a local teaching hospital she loves to write. Katie writes everything from reviews for her local arts magazine to a column for her local newspaper. An active member of Nottingham Writers' Studio, Katie is currently working on my first novel.

"Hello.

I'm Hare. Though you probably knew that already, the long ears are a bit of a giveaway. I was made by Barry Flanagan, an artist who used hares, like me, in a lot of his sculptures. I’m not warm and furry like a real hare though, if you could reach me and touch me you’d notice I am smooth and made of bronze.

Us hares are often quite nervous creatures. We’re prey, and we’re born with our eyes open, on the constant lookout for danger.

I don’t look nervous now though, do I? You can’t see my little jackrabbit heart fluttering. The strong muscles in my legs make me look powerful, though that’s not how I’ve always felt. I was once trapped in the bell you see below me. Crouch inside my bell and you’ll see it’s dark and heavy. Every time the bell tolled my bones shook, my fur bristled and I buried my nose in my paws. I knew nothing of the world outside my bell.

Then, one day, the bell tipped over. This bold new world outside my little bell was overwhelming but it held beauty I could never have imagined, this was beauty to be felt and lived. The jolting rhythm of the bells dongs were replaced by the gentle cycles of night turning to day and the frost on my bronze back melting as winter gives way in a fresh spring breeze.

As the sun rises I see bankers and office workers swallowed in to the sheer mirrored cliff of Broadgate One, the building over there. Some of them tug at their ties, they rush and they sweat in their suits.

I’ll never know for sure why I was released from the bell, but I think it’s because the artist wanted me, a hare, a symbol of rebirth, to give hope to those people uncomfortable in their suits and those of you who feel trapped, like I once was. I’m also here to celebrate with those of you who share in the joy of liberation.

I'm quite still now, but I'm in the air and I'm mid-leap, I'm just waiting for you.

Will you take my paw?

Let's leap, wild, strong and free. Out of our bells and over the moon in to a labyrinth of space and stars. Yes, it’s scary to leap so high but it’s better than staying in your bell."

Monologue by Peter Kennedy

Writer Bio: Peter Kennedy lives in the Barbican with his family and works in financial services in the Broadgate area. He has always had a keen interest in literature and creative writing and is currently working on his third full-length stage play.

"Psst. Yes, you. I have a name, you know. I'm Harley. Harley the hare. I used to live out in the country, until my home was destroyed. I lost my family too.

I'd heard stories about London. London! So I ran. Building up speed. I ran and I ran and I ran. People tried to catch me, but I was too fast. I ran past fields, farms, villages. I ran past churches, their bells all ringing. Sometimes I followed the signs and sometimes I followed my nose and now here I am. Alive!

Here I am, but where are all of the other hares. I'm the only one. An outsider. Some people point at me and call me a rabbit. Most of the time, I'm just ignored. Somebody took pity on me and tried to feed me bread, but I don't eat bread. It's not all bad though. There might not be much grass around here, but there's plenty of leftover salad. And I like watching everyone rushing about. There are some people I see every day. I call those ones my friends.

The night times are quiet here. They remind me of home. I sit and look up at the sky. I look at the moon. I hear a voice in the back of my head. "You can do it." It starts as a whisper. "You can do it." And then it gets louder. Night after night. "You can do it! You can be the first hare to leap over the moon!" Me? No. Not me. You must have the wrong hare. How could I jump that high?

I shuffle around. Day after day. Night after night. Questioning myself. I wander down to the river and back. Feeling out of sorts. But then I see it. A huge slope leading up to the sky. I hear the church bells ringing. My mind is racing. Could it be possible? Could this be why I came to London?

I look at the moon. There's a spring in my step once more. "You can do it, Harley!" I'll start my run up. The bells will all be ringing and I'll run. Building up speed. Who cares that no-one's looking? I'll run and I'll run and I'll run!"

Monologue by Jonathan Skinner

Writer Bio: Jonathan Skinner is a playwright whose work has appeared on the London fringe, throughout the UK, and internationally.

"Hey, you! Yes, you! Where are you scampering off to? What’s the big hurry? Got a train to catch? Rushing back to the office? Trying to cram in the next tourist sight? Give it up for a minute will you?

That’s better. It really should be me doing the haring about. But scampering across open fields, not posing for you here in the middle of the city. Still, at least my sculptor Barry Flanagan allowed me to stretch my legs out. Do you realise, I’m the fastest land mammal in the UK – not that you’d know it right now. But if I close my eyes and imagine hard, I can almost feel the wind whipping between my ears. Not quite so sure about this crescent moon sticking into my tum but, hey, you get used to it. Can’t complain really. I’ve got a good view of the Broadgate Circle where there’s always something interesting to watch. There’s you lot for a start. You always look so busy, chasing after whatever you want from the day. Not a tortoise amongst you! Then you disappear down your holes in the ground. Crazy! You wouldn’t catch me doing that.

The crescent moon and the bell below me are both associated with rural folklore. So maybe I’m a little reminder of the countryside for you. All that freedom and fresh air instead of the noise, the traffic and the fumes. Mind you, I reckon I’ve adapted pretty well to life here in the fast lane. I, er, don’t like to brag but… Did you know, hares were considered sacred by Aphrodite and Eros - the Greek gods of love - because of our, ahem, hi libido. Just saying…

Well, I guess you’re done listening to me. Go on then, off you go. Back to the office, off to catch your train, or on to the next sightseeing hot-spot to tick off your list. But don’t ever forget me, stretched out here in the city. Or our little chat. And I won’t forget you either. Deal?"

To see a full list of London’s Talking Statues, visit the Talking Statues website. Find out more about Broadgate's art collection here

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