People across the city are set to have a starring role in the final moments of an outdoor spectacle taking place at this year’s Norfolk and Norwich Festival.

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Safe House – the arts extravaganza’s free festival finale – will see a mysterious house spring up in Norwich’s St James development site where a late-night performance will take its audience on a surreal journey through the story of the house and those who live there.

Part of the show will include projections of film montages on the 12-metre high house-like structure central to the performance, and the team behind Safe House – Metro-Boulot-Dodo – are currently filming sequences in the city and asking people to pose for pictures that will feature in the production. They started filming yesterday and are continuing today.

Safe House, which premieres in Brighton the week before it comes to Norwich, is touring a number of different places, and artistic director Esther Simpson explained that the films help link the show to each place where it is being performed.

She said: “The show at the Norfolk and Norwich Festival will begin and end with elements specific to Norwich. One of the things we are doing is getting time-lapse footage of driving through the streets of Norwich which will be used at the start of the show.

“The other dimension is that the show will end with a series of photographs showing people from Norwich holding a sign saying My Home, and that is very much about saying Norwich is my home. It is really about building a sense of pride and being proud of coming from Norwich. So today we are hitting the streets of Norwich and asking people to have their photographs taken.”

She said they hoped to feature pictures of about 100 people of all ages from Norwich.

Metro-Boulot-Dodo are working 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, and along with the film projections Safe House will feature a whole host of acrobatic and theatrical treats with aerial performers on ropes interacting with the projections.

“The theme of the show is all about the importance of home and the importance of building a community, and it charts a mother and son’s relationship to that house,” said Miss Simpson.

“It is going to be a really spectacular show that hopefully has an emotional punch that really tells a story and connects with people.”

The Norfolk and Norwich Festival runs from May 9 to 25. Safe House is on Saturday, May 24 at 10pm on the St James Development Site in Norwich. Entry is free. For more information visit www.nnfestival.org.uk

Do you have a story about the arts in Norfolk? Email arts correspondent Emma Knights at emma.knights@archant.co.uk

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