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Preview: Unsung Heroes - A brand new augmented reality gig comes to Hexham


Unsung Heroes - A brand new augmented reality gig comes to Hexham


Queen’s Hall Arts have commissioned international multimedia artists Davy & Kristin McGuire and North East musician Bridie Jackson to create Unsung Heroes - a brand new augmented reality gig co-created with the local community.


Bridie Jackson
Photo: Nick Pierce

Songwriter Bridie Jackson will work with communities in and around Hexham to collect stories about the everyday people who have inspired them. Whether it’s the neighbour who brought their shopping during lockdown, someone who has made a difference in their village or a figure from local history who did something incredible but never got the recognition they deserve, Bridie will create songs celebrating these unsung heroes to be performed by North East musicians.


Audiences will then be able to experience a ‘mini gig’ wherever they are simply by pointing their camera phone at a postcard which will make the musicians pop up to perform the songs on a ‘postcard stage’.


Kristin & Davy McGuire
Photo:Together & Sunspell

The McGuires said, ”In this time of isolation where people can't go to gigs, we thought it would be a good idea to transport the gigs to the people. Tabletop Rock will be an augmented reality app where musicians will be shrunk down to the size of a coffee cup and perform to people directly from their kitchen table. We are really excited to be working with Bridie and Queen’s Hall Arts on this first of a kind project.”


Davy & Kristin McGuire’s work combines mesmerising theatricality with technical wizardry and exquisite craftsmanship.  Renowned for their digital projection and storytelling, combining physical installations and virtual experiences, the McGuires create delicate and exquisitely crafted worlds full of visual wonders. Crossing genres of theatre, film, live performance and installations they have been commissioned by organisations such as The Royal Shakespeare Company, Hull UK City of Culture and Museums at Night, and the couple’s work includes the world‘s first projection mapped pop-up book The Icebook. 


Their renowned projection mapping installations have been exhibited, sold, published and screened internationally and their critically acclaimed theatrical projects have been invited to tour to more than 60 different countries. For Unsung Heroes, the McGuires will combine augmented reality technology with original music composition to create an immersive multimedia experience that can be accessed anywhere.


Bridie Jackson is a musician based in North East England, well known within the region and beyond for her work as a songwriter and performer. As a songwriter, Bridie's expertise is in socially engaged projects, and she enjoys working collaboratively on community focused projects, having written for a range of organisations including Streetwise Opera, Curious Monkey Theatre Company, Sage Gateshead and Summer Streets Festival. 


Bridie said, “I think the concept behind Unsung is particularly resonant right now. At this moment in time, I feel we are viewing the notion of heroes through a much wider lens, and rightfully wondering how we can honour those who perhaps have not always had the recognition they deserve in our society. Folk songs have always been a fantastic medium for revealing untold stories and sharing different lived experiences in a way that’s relatable. I feel very honoured to have been trusted with this project, and telling other people’s stories through songs in an authentic and sensitive way is not something I’m entering into lightly.”


Unsung Heroes is part of Here and Now, a national and local celebration of culture within communities. 40 brand new projects will take place in and around 40 arts centres across the country, led by artists and co-created with local people. The project is supported by Arts Council England and Future Arts Centres, marking The National Lottery’s 25th birthday.


As well as a smartphone app, there will also be an interactive exhibition at the Queen’s Hall in Hexham and Unsung Heroes will tour in early 2021. Details will be announced later in the year.


For more information or to nominate your Unsung Hero, go to






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