Walk this Play: Manchester theatre company uses app-based technology in new digital audio plays

Manchester-based theatre company ThickSkin, has teamed up with theatre organisations in central Manchester, Ancoats and Huddersfield to present three new location based audio plays.

The Walk This Play stories are unique to each location and are designed for listeners as they walk, blending narration and original music with the sights and sounds around you to transport you inside the story.

ThickSkin and the partner companies have reached out to local communities and writers to make this possible. Each audio experience has a different creative team from the local area, placing new voices front and centre.

ThickSkin, an award-winning touring theatre company was established in 2010 by co-directors, Neil Bettles and Laura Mallows.

During the pandemic ThickSin reached over 15,000 people through digital engagement and more than 900 young people globally took part in their digital learning while drama and dance schools were closed.

ThickSkin are also the innovators of the Virtual Reality production Petrichor which was created to connect with young audiences during the pandemic.

Laura Mallows, ThickSkin Executive Director, said: “Digital arts has always been a feature of ThickSkin’s work and we took this a step further last year in creating our first Theatre in VR production, Petrichor.

“It became clear that digital arts could offer a wide range of new experiences for audiences and the more we expand our work in digital the more quickly artists can get back to work.

“Walk This Play came from an aim to reconnect theatre audiences with the arts in their local community, while encouraging new audiences to take part.

“As with all ThickSkin projects, there’s a spotlight on early career artists or more experienced artists working in new ways.

“We’re looking forward to eventually getting back on stage, but digital will be a permanent feature in how we take audiences on a journey alongside or embedded in the live work.

“For now, Walk This Play, offers a standalone experience in each location or a full day out for audiences who chose to take part in walks.”

The plays will be available from April 19, May 30 and July 17.

To follow the story visit walkthisplay and download the free app.

Watch the trailer:

Main image credit: WalkThisPlay

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