20th August 2014

Square fills with song

SONGS from the shows will fill Jubilee Square on Friday night (22 August) as the second weekend of Leicester’s City Festival gets under way.

More than 30 performers from the Leicester Theatre Group will take to the stage to entertain the crowds with some classic songs from the country’s best-loved musicals.

Soloists will perform songs from Chicago, Miss Saigon and Les Miserables, the youth group will bring Matilda the Musical to Jubilee Square, while eight dancers will perform to music from Burlesque the Musical and Cabaret.

Karl Strickland, founder of the Leicester Theatre Group, said: “We’re all looking forward to performing in this unusual environment.

“As long as the weather’s kind to us, it’s going to be fun!”

An Outdoor Night at the Musicals takes place at 7pm on Friday (22 August) in Jubilee Square. The performance will last for approximately 90 minutes and admission is free of charge.

More information about Leicester Theatre Group, and details of its programme of forthcoming events, is available at

Jubilee Square is also one of the venues for Saturday’s Cosmopolitan Carnival (23 August). Live music from By The Rivers, Curtis Clacey and Carol Leeming will be followed by a large-scale projection onto the Radio Leicester building. Activities for all the family will also be taking place in St Martin’s Square, Silver Arcade, High Street and at BBC Radio Leicester.

Leicester’s other new open space, Cathedral Gardens, will host World War One At Home on 23-24 August, while the Cathedral will join the Guildhall to host the Old Town Food Fair on Bank Holiday Monday (25 August).

Sunday 24 August will see the return of SkyRide – a five-mile family-friendly route for cyclists of all ages – SportsFest, Our Leicester Day, Journeys Festival (also on Monday) and the Humberstone Gate City Music Stage, which will showcase some of Leicester’s top musical talent.

And on Bank Holiday Monday (25 August), the Leicester Belgrave Mela – bringing the best of Indian food, fashion and culture to the city centre – and the Old Town Festival will bring the second City Festival to a close.

Throughout the festival, there will also be special events taking place at Leicester’s museums. These include Castles, Gargoyles and Clay Fun Day at the Guildhall (Thursday 21 August), Meet the Medieval Barber Surgeon at Newarke Houses (Sunday 24 Aug) and Gladiators at Jewry Wall (Bank Holiday Monday).

Tours of Wygston’s House, the Magazine and Leicester Castle will take place on Bank Holiday Monday (25 August).

There will also be live performances at the Guildhall and Hansom Hall, with a number of city pubs and other venues showcasing the best in live music throughout the festival. A charge may be made for these events, so check with venues for details.

Other events taking place include an outdoor screening of A Hard Day’s Night at the Phoenix on Friday 22 August, and a look behind the scenes at BBC Radio Leicester on Bank Holiday Monday (25 August).

Full details of all events taking place at the 2014 City Festival are available in a free brochure – available from Visit Leicester on Gallowtree Gate, local libraries, and city centre shops, bars, and venues – or online at

On Sunday 24th August Leicester’s bands and artists will be performing live on the stage in Humberstone Gate (close to the Clock Tower).  Music venues from all over the city will be presenting their selected bands and artists for this free show; find out more about the City Stage.

13th August 2014

Aerial performance in city

A GRAVITY-defying aerial performance will help to kick off Leicester’s City Festival this weekend.

Safe House is a stunning large-scale, open-air theatrical performance taking place in Southgates, off Peacock Lane.

Norwich Festival 2014 Photo: Pamela Riath and Norwich Arts Lab
Norwich Festival 2014
Photo: Pamela Riath and Norwich Arts Lab

It tells the story of a mother and her son and their relationship with their home from the 1970s to the present day. For the mother, the house represents putting down roots, while for the son, the house is somewhere to play, and later, somewhere to escape from.

The production has been created by Leicester-based theatre company Metro-Boulot-Dodo.

Esther Simpson from Metro-Boulot-Dodo said: “The house structure will be going up on site from Wednesday (13) this week. It’s 12 metres high and 10 metres wide, performers appear out of skylights, scale the walls and fly around the house as large scale projections turn the house into a series of stunning backdrops.

“The aerial performance adds a real wow factor, there’s one moment when the teenage son runs towards the city and begins to leap, summersault and fly across a series of skyscrapers. It’s a spectacular moment. Safe House is a visual spectacle that tells an emotive story which appeals to a wide audience, of all ages.”

Safe House takes place at 9pm on both Saturday and Sunday, with gates opening at 8.45pm. It’s free to attend and no booking is required. The performance lasts about 45 minutes.

The production has being touring the country and was commissioned by Leicester City Council as well as by other festivals up and down the country.

Cllr Piara Singh Clair, assistant city mayor responsible for culture, leisure and sport, said: “This is a great opportunity for people to experience something very different – a large-scale, open air performance that will appeal to all ages.

“It’s a fantastic way to begin our City Festival and I hope that lots of people will come along. I’m proud that this piece has been created by a Leicester theatre company and I’m delighted that we can bring this performance home to Leicester.”

Alongside Safe House, a photography installation called ‘My Home’ will be on display in St Peter’s Square, in the Highcross, from Friday until Sunday. It will feature the work of local young people who have learned traditional analogue camera skills to photograph what ‘home’ means to them.

The production and installation are just two of a host of events taking place for the City Festival.

Leicester’s City Festival celebrates the communities, culture and heritage that help make Leicester unique. Launched by the City Mayor in 2013, the festival has now expanded into a major event in the heart of the city, offering 10 days of fun and entertainment in Leicester’s pedestrianised streets and open spaces.

The 2014 City Festival runs from August 16-25. Printed brochures are available from the tourist centre and other city centre outlets

More information is available at this website