Last updated 15th of September 2020
Author Lisa Hartwell
Telling Trails on a New Plymouth App
Back in June, we were delighted to be asked to help find a Plymouth voiceover to record the audio track on the new Plymouth Trails app.
The Plymouth Trails project, funded by Plymouth City Council, National Lottery Heritage Fund, Great Western Railway, Mayflower400 and Plymouth Waterfront Partnership, guides visitors (and residents) of the city around different trails sharing the history and landmarks.
The team behind the app was keen to work with local groups and businesses and wanted a genuine Plymothian voiceover to provide the audio guide to the trails. With that in mind, Plymouth City Council ran a “search for a voice” to find a freelance voice artist to narrate the trails.
We were proud to be asked to provide our studios and expertise for the recording and production of the audio tracks as well as help to choose the successful voice.
Selecting the Voice of Plymouth Trails
34 people sent in test recordings, with a wide range of styles and experience, and all offering something different to the role. After shortlisting by the Plymouth Trails team to 5 possible voices, we helped Team Lead, Hannah Pooley, select the final voice: Suzy Bennett.
Suzy is probably best known as a comedian who has proudly kept her Plymouth accent, even though her work has taken her all over the world.
Suzy said, “I heard about the Plymouth Trail Voiceover opportunity when my Mum forwarded me an email from Plymouth City Council advertising the role. Straight away I said, ‘I’d love to do that!’. I have lived away from Plymouth for years, even overseas, but always kept my strong Plymothian accent and people often commented on how warm and friendly my dialect is. I love Plymouth and was excited to become a small part of this new venture.”
Even the most seasoned voiceovers would have found the long scripts and several days’ worth of recording required for the Plymouth Trails guides a vocal challenge, but Suzy handled the process, including the need to record each script several times, like a professional. It was a pleasure to work with her and the Plymouth Trails team.
Learning Something New
Suzy spoke for all of us when she said, “Voicing the Plymouth Trails has been an education for me. I was fascinated to learn just how much the amazing people of Plymouth united to rebuild after the Blitz and what a huge task it was. Also, I realised there is so much more to find out about the historical figures associated with Plymouth and I now pay more attention to the statues and monuments I had passed by regularly, but hadn’t really thought about before.”
Here's the team in the studios on the first day of recording:
You can download the app for Android or IOS in your app store. You can also pick up activity and school packs to accompany the trails at the Barbican Tourist Information Centre.