VR Playground

Friday 12 - Sunday 28 May
All Day

A man swings on a playground swing inside Castle Mall shopping centre whilst wearing a VR headset.


Don a VR headset, jump on a playground swing, and be transported inside an experimental virtual reality ride created by the world’s only Thrill Engineer, Professor Brendan Walker, and his team of Thrill Laboratory technicians.

You may find yourself riding on the back of a giant mechanical jellyfish or atop a lumbering robot, you’ll find out when you get there!

The Rides:

High Roller:
scoot through the metropolis inside a mono-wheel.
Thrill Laboratory rating “turbocharged”

Shuttlecock: leap tall structures in a single bound.
Thrill Laboratory rating “bonkers”

Jellyfish: undulate upwards to escape the deep abyss.
Thrill Laboratory rating “eerie”

Walker: from baby steps to giant strides - go strut your stuff.
Thrill Laboratory rating “feel-good”

Thrill Laboratory is a collective of artists, designers, engineers, scientists and technologists who have been perfecting the art of creating new forms of thrilling experience.

Find VR Playground at these sites in Norwich:
(click here to see a PDF of the full timetable)

Castle Mall,  NR1 3DD (Ground Floor, outside Argos)
FRIDAY 12 – THURSDAY 18 MAY, 11am – 6pm

Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts,  UEA, NR4 7TJ
TUESDAY – FRIDAY 11am – 5.30pm
SATURDAY & SUNDAY 11am – 4.30pm

The Adnams Spiegeltent, Chapelfield Gardens
FRIDAY 26 MAY, 10am – 10pm
SATURDAY 27 MAY, 10am – 5pm & 7pm - 10pm
SUNDAY 28 MAY, 10am – 6pm

Chapelfield Gardens
SATURDAY 20 & SUNDAY 21 MAY, 12 – 6pm
SATURDAY 27 – SUNDAY 28 MAY, 12 – 6pm

The Forum
MONDAY 22 MAY, 3-7.30pm
TUESDAY 23 & WEDNESDAY 24 MAY, 12-7.30pm
THURSDAY 25 MAY, 12 – 5pm


A roller coaster career

What's the scariest moment of a theme park ride? When we accelerate? Or when we teeter on the brink before hurtling down? According to the self-styled "thrill engineer", Prof Brendan Walker, it's neither of the above. The scariest moment is when the safety restraints lock down and we realise there's no escape.

Suitable for ages 11+

Visit Brendan Walker's website here

The Tarmac Outdoor Programme sponsor


Supported by The Forum. With thanks to Castle Mall and Norfolk & Norwich Festival Director’s Circle Supporters Simon De-Lacy Adams & Robin Norman.

The Tarmac Outdoor Programme is supported by The Paul Bassham Charitable Trust and The Geoffrey Watling Charity.

Co-commissioned by Norfolk & Norwich Festival, Horizon Digital Economy Research, Arts Council England, Greenwich + Docklands International Festival. Co-produced by Norfolk & Norwich Festival, Horizon Digital Economy Research and Thrill Laboratory.