River City Detectives

Can you help solve the mysterious crimes on Coventry's waterways?

From September 2021 – March 2022, Open Theatre worked with a group of young people from Coventry’s special schools to explore Coventry’s rivers, canals and waterways as part of the River City Detectives project. 

Working with local heritage partners – Historic Coventry Trust, Canal & River Trust, Coventry Canal Basin and Warwickshire Wildlife Trust – young people across Coventry learned about the local heritage, wildlife and conservation of these important Coventry spaces, and used them as inspiration for their own detective films!  These were made into 3 professionally shot short films, that make up our River City Detectives Trilogy.

Visits and filming took place at Charterhouse and the River Sherbourne, Coventry Canal Basin and Daimler Powerhouse

The Blob: A River City Mystery

Created by Castle Wood School, working with Marlien and Tom from Open Theatre.  A Mysterious blob has been created in the City and it’s searching for something….but what is it?  Can our Detectives solve the Mystery?

This film also won the 2nd place prize in the Coventry Candid Film Festival and was voted as the top filmmakers the audience would most like to see more from!

Lights, Camera, Action!

All photography by Visually Rich

River City Thieves

Created by Woodfield Secondary School Students, working with Hannah and Mike from Open Theatre.  There’s been a robbery at a local jewellery store but the thief might not be who you’d expect.  Can our Detectives find out the truth?

Our Fab Cast

All photography by Visually Rich

River City Detectives

Created by students from Baginton Fields School, Sherbourne Fields School, Riverbank Academy and Hereward College, working with Mel and Marlien from Open Theatre.  There have been several strange crimes taking place in Coventry and the River City Detectives are investigating.  Are they somehow connected and can they catch who is really behind it all?

Behind the Scenes

All photography by Visually Rich

To find out a bit more about the process, take a look at our behind-the-scenes film!


What did people think?

“The students gained so much from this process, and some have gone on to create podcasts and do more filming in school which is great to see.  One student is now taking part in a regional Commonwealth Games programme”  Headteacher

“River City Detectives gave the opportunity for real life work-based scenarios and gave real scope for some students to achieve.  They also collaborated with others in a professional setting which is so important”

Thanks to our Funders

Heritage Fund logo with a white cartoon of a hand with fingers crossed, with eyes and a smiley face on the palm.

If you would like to find out more about us or the programmes we run, get in touch, or better still…