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Norfolk X-Files: Theatre group seeks UFO stories

PUBLISHED: 13:38 31 August 2018 | UPDATED: 13:38 31 August 2018

New play In Your Skies is partly inspired by the infamous UFO incident in Rendlesham Forest in Suffolk. Picture: Getty

New play In Your Skies is partly inspired by the infamous UFO incident in Rendlesham Forest in Suffolk. Picture: Getty

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Lights in the sky, alien space craft, military cover-ups in the woods, they are the stuff of science fiction and conspiracy theories.

Now a Norfolk theatre company is hoping to combine the two in a new play and is seeking people with real-life stories of strange goings-on to help them.

Diss-based The Keeper’s Daughter is currently developing In Your Skies, a play that will explore the life of ufologists and the wider UFO phenomenon.

As part of the research in October, the theatre company are holding two public events at Flying Saucer Cafe in Ipswich and Biddy’s Tea Room in Norwich and they hope UFO investigators and anybody who has seen unexplained lights in the sky will share their experiences.

Mark Finbow, The Keepers Daughter artistic director, who is seeking stories for new play In Your Skies. Picture: Tom McCallMark Finbow, The Keepers Daughter artistic director, who is seeking stories for new play In Your Skies. Picture: Tom McCall

The play is partly inspired by the infamous 1980 incident in Rendlesham Forest in Suffolk that has become the UK’s most famous alleged UFO sighting.

American officers stationed at the former RAF Woodbridge site reported seeing strange lights and an alien craft on two occasions. The mystery has inspired for books, documentaries, a feature film and even a UFO trail in the Forestry Commission woods.

Mark Finbow, The Keeper’s Daughter artistic director and co-founder, said: “It’s fascinating and over the years there have been so many versions of the story. Whatever the truth is that people are seeking they are never going to find it. I think something happened but I don’t believe it was aliens and most of the people I’ve spoken to so far don’t believe that either.”

In Your Skies is being developed in conjunction with Eastern Angles, DissCorn Hall, and The Garagre in Norwich. Picture: Keepers DaughterIn Your Skies is being developed in conjunction with Eastern Angles, DissCorn Hall, and The Garagre in Norwich. Picture: Keepers Daughter

To research the play, he has already met investigator Brenda Butler, who published a book on the Rendlesham incident in 1984 called Sky Crash. Now he hopes to get other stories too.

The resident theatre company at Diss Corn Hall, The Keeper’s Daughter specialise in science fiction stories. Recent productions includes sci-fi rom com Tomorrow is Your Hope and Wandering Spectre, a children’s ghost story inspired local memories from the people of Diss.

Mr Finbow said: “I prefer the human stories so really this play will be about people who search for UFOs, why they search for them, why this has become a compulsion, possibly obsession, for some of them. They want to believe and you are much more likely to see something if you want to see it.”

Press cutting relating to the Rendlesham UFO incident from 1980. Picture: Archant LibraryPress cutting relating to the Rendlesham UFO incident from 1980. Picture: Archant Library

The first results of In Your Skies, which is being developed in conjunction with Suffolk theatre company Eastern Angles, will be unveiled in Ipswich and at The Garage in Norwich in February, before it tours the region later in 2019.

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