A new audio project has unearthed the hidden histories and secret stories of communities along the Sefton coast.

Coastlands, produced by the Theatre in the Rough Festival, is a series of six audio documentaries, created through a year-long collaboration between local theatre-makers and the general public.

They combine documentary recordings with original writing, soundscapes and drama to capture a unique panorama of the towns and villages that form the 22 miles of Sefton’s coast.

Join Emma Little on a road trip through the south of the borough, as she seeks the story behind the local phenomenon known as the Litherland Running Man, as well as looking more deeply into the nature of social media fandom.

Joseph Rynhart accompanies a cabbie and his passengers through 24 hours in Southport, charting the town’s culture, people and history from one dawn to the next.

Chelsea Bassnett discovers the spiritual side of Formby, joining a communal earth chant on the beach, and learning about the therapeutic benefits of gong baths and meditation.

Helen Stenson and Rebecca Downing uncover Sefton’s spooks, including poltergeists and exorcisms in Altcar, and strange reports of flashing lights at the abandoned Seaforth radar tower.

Phil Montgomery questions the value of public art in the borough through the prism of Another Place. He follows pupils from Forefield Junior School in Crosby as they create a musical project inspired by the Iron Men.

And Ashleigh Panther looks at environmentalism along the coast, going on location at Ainsdale National Nature Reserve, as well as talking to the young winners of Sefton’s 2015 Eco Champion Awards.

Chris Fittock, Artistic Director of Theatre in the Rough, said: “Coastlands attempts to place a creative landscape over the culture, history and geography of Sefton. Our work has always celebrated the vibrancy of the borough, and this project has enabled local people to explore their own surroundings afresh”.

The documentaries are being released weekly from Monday 19 October through the organisation’s website, www.theatreintherough.com, where they will be free to stream and download. They are also touring as an audio installation throughout the autumn. They are currently at The Atkinson until mid-November, and will also be visiting Lydiate and Waterloo. More information is available on the website.

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