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Mysterious house will spring up in Norwich for festival’s free outdoor spectacle

PUBLISHED: 12:53 22 May 2014 | UPDATED: 12:53 22 May 2014

NNF14 - Safe House. Photo: Pamela Raith.

NNF14 - Safe House. Photo: Pamela Raith.

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A mysterious house will spring up in the city centre on Saturday for a free outdoor spectacle featuring aerial performers, colourful projections and images of people and places in Norwich.

NNF14 - Safe House. Photo: Pamela Raith.NNF14 - Safe House. Photo: Pamela Raith.

Safe House - created by the company Metro-Boulot-Dodo - is the Norfolk and Norwich Festival’s free outdoor finale and several thousand people are expected to watch the show which will take place at 10pm on Saturday night at Norwich’s St James development site.

The show - which looks at what home means to us at different points in our life - recently premiered in Brighton to rave reviews, and Norwich is its next stop with parts of the show specially tailored for the performance in our fine city.

Safe House’s artistic director Esther Simpson said: “The show is a large-scale spectacle which includes aerial performance and large-scale animations, but it is also a really emotive story about the relationship between a mother and son and their home. It has got the wow factor but it is also telling quite an emotional story.

“I think a lot of people were quite amazed with how it silenced the crowds in Brighton and how people were drawn to the story.”

NNF14 - Safe House. Photo: Pamela Raith.NNF14 - Safe House. Photo: Pamela Raith.

The stage for the show is a 12-metre high house structure which the eight performers interact with, and the audiences can watch the show from two different sides of the house.

Ms Simpson said: “Not only are there aerial performers, there is also physical theatre performance, people are inside the house, they are on the roof, they run around the edges on tracking.

“The projections are also spectacular. It really does genuinely look like a house at points.”

The show starts and finishes with images of Norwich and the company visited the city at Easter to film footage.

About 100 people from Norwich will see their photographs incorporated into the performance.

Ms Simpson said: “The show starts with a piece of time-lapse video footage that takes us through the streets of Norwich and past iconic landmarks within Norwich. The idea is we are placing our home within your city and we tell the story of this home as if it is a home in Norwich.”

Metro-Boulot-Dodo have worked on the production with Wired Aerial Theatre, the company behind As The World Tipped, which was performed at Eaton Park as part of the 2011 Norfolk and Norwich Festival.

• Safe House is on Saturday at 10pm on the St James Development Site in Norwich. Entry is free. For more information visit

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