Tales from the Towpath

An immersive work for Manchester Literature Festival 2014. This Transmedia production features a location based storytrail — using augmented reality & geocaching, micro-projections, an origami narrowboat and a live performance on a traditional narrowboat.

Explore hidden, lost and imagined lives of Manchester with a story that runs across rivers Irwell and Medlock, the Rochdale and Bridgewater canals, linking them to iconic Manchester venues – The Royal Exchange and Midland Hotel.

New mythologies are created and, whether you believe them or not, thrive. Lives intersect like flotsam, like the past that washes up again and again. Two futures are possible: where water is at risk and the world turns upside down, or one where nature proves her power.


Audience Feedback:

I loved the interwoven voices of the story from performers, from the audience and from the participants of the trail. Please, more of this fantastic project from beginning to end: trail, performance, and the workshops. Very complete!

“My favourite moment of the performance was the combo of darkness and motion of the boat gently rocking to immerse you into the story further.”

I enjoyed it all. The origami boat was a good teaser for things to come. The guided tour was great because I needed some help with the technology, and the guide was very clear and made it all very easy to use. The story trail was great fun. Reading the stories made the locations come alive. It was really imaginative and a very successful example of site-specific writing.”

I enjoyed hunting for the different parts of the story. It was exciting when you found the next bit and it took me to places in Manchester that I hadn’t been to before.

Here is an online version of the story trail (adapted from the story trail in Manchester)


Shortlisted for the 2014 New Media Writing Prize

A collaboration with Sarah Hymas, Michelle Green & Helen Varley Jamieson 

Project website: www.talesfromthetowpath.net

sponsors & funders

We are extremely grateful for the financial support of our main public funder Arts Council England, and our project and event partners and sponsors.

More information on our funders and sponsors can be found by following the links below.

Arts Council England

Main Sponsor:

Sapient Nitro
Event partners and sponsors:

Manchester Literature Festival Bridgewater Heritage Boat Company
Canal and River Trust 34sp

Sustainable Theatre Up North                Commonword