Walking Stories is a brand new project from Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds which invites local people to tell the hidden stories of the place where they live.

We are inviting anyone who lives in Bury St Edmunds or its surrounding towns and villages to take part.

The history of this area is already well documented.  What we are looking for are personal stories: ordinary people with extraordinary stories. We all know someone who has a great story to tell. Maybe it’s your story, maybe the story has been passed on to you by someone else, maybe it’s a story that has been passed on so many times its hard to tell which bits are even true. These are the stories which get better every time you hear them, the stories which capture the imagination and make you see the world afresh.

We will select 10 of these stories, which our team of artists will then transform into beautifully crafted audio-guided walks – voiced by professional actors with original music and sound design by composer, David Lewington.

We have designed this project specifically for these extraordinary times. People can listen to these stories individually and outdoors, enabling them to safely come back out into the streets and celebrate the place where they live.

The finished stories will be available to download later this summer, so other residents and visitors can enjoy walking the streets, listening to their hidden stories. These walks will encourage people to be curious about the place where they live, to discover or to rediscover its hidden corners.

How to write a Walking Story

  • Your story should be about 10 minutes long. This is usually about 1000 – 1200 words. You can write it or you can record it.
  • Location is important. Each walk will take the listener on a journey through a specific place.
  • Consider where you would like your story to take place and whether there are important landmarks on the route. You may want to invite your listener to sit on a particular bench, look through a shop window or discover a hidden landmark which people usually walk right by.
  • Encourage your listener’s curiosity.
  • Write your story as if you are speaking directly into the ear of your listener. You can give them directions, ask them to travel in a particular direction or ask them to think about something connected to the story that you are telling.
  • Your story does not have to be true. You can be as creative and imaginative as you like.

It may help you to listen to examples of previous audio-guided story-walks created elsewhere in the world. You can listen to five very different walks through Cape Town here.

Send your story to us walkingstories@theatreroyal.org

If you have recorded and would like to send us an audio or video file, you can send it to us via WeTransfer or similar free, file sharing apps. If you have problems with this, email us and we’ll help you out with the transfer.

Please include the address of the starting point of your story in the body of your email (e.g. the corner where Eastgate Street joins Barn Lane in Bury St Edmunds ).

Good luck!

Walking Stories is Supported by Bury Town Council & West Suffolk Council Locality Budgets