Meet Suzy - the voice behind the new Plymouth Trails app

Sep 22, 2020

The audio option is now live on the free interactive Plymouth Trails app - and here's your chance to meet the woman behind the voice.

Suzy Bennett was the successful applicant after an open call for authentic Plymouth voices.

The process saw 34 people send in test readings, and the team were impressed by some fantastic voices. The applicants’ experience ranged from none to professional voiceover artists.

After shortlisting and tests via video call, Suzy, a local stand-up comedian, came out on top.

Suzy Bennett

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.”

Suzy is used to using her voice in front of an audience, and has done radio work, but this was her first voiceover work. The audio was recorded over a few days in a local studio owned by Fresh Air Group, who supported Suzy through the process.

She added: “In my role as a stand-up comedian I never use scripts, I speak freely and often improvise. I enjoyed the challenge of reading someone else’s words and thinking about how to interpret and make it interesting for the listener.

“Some of the information was fun and light-hearted, but of course there are parts of history telling stories of hardship and tragedy and it was important to convey the appropriate tone.”

The interactive Plymouth Trails app launched in July and the app has had more than 1,900 users to date. It is free to download and includes three new tailored trails:

  • Mayflower Trail: Following a circular route around the Barbican, see the buildings and meet the people that shaped the city in 1620, when the Mayflower ship and its passengers set sail for America.
  • City Centre Trail: Discover a different side to the imposing post-war architecture in the city centre and learn more about how the city was rebuilt following the Blitz during World War II.
  • Plymouth Hoe Trail: Enjoy a walk along the coast as you delve into Plymouth’s maritime history, taking in key landmarks such as Tinside Lido and Smeaton's Tower.

Suzie had to read each stop out loud at least three times, so now knows more about her hometown than she anticipated!

“Voicing the Plymouth Trails has been an education for me,” she admitted. “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.”

The trails are full of stories and facts that many Plymothians are unaware of.

Suzy revealed: “I loved the fact that, when rebuilt, Dingles was noted as having the first escalator in the West Country.

"As a mark of respect, I made the effort to pronounce it correctly and not as ‘Dingoes’ as that is how it is normally referred to by this Janner!”

You can download the app now on Android or iOS, and find more information here.

  • Find out more about the Plymouth Trails app here.
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