Theatre in Wales

Theatre, dance and performance reviews

Splott on the Lanndscape

No Fit State Circus , Sherman Theatre, Cardiff , October-23-03
There's something sorely missing from the usual `family theatre` scene, and I wouldn’t have noticed had I not gone along to `Splott on the Landscape` at the Sherman last week.

Wales' NoFit State Circus have been working with immense vision, voluntarily, in the Splott community for the last ten years, teaching circus skills to all-comers every Tuesday night.  This masterful, magical and hysterically funny show was a `feast of circus` to celebrate the achievements of SPLOTT STATE CIRCUS over that ten years - WHAT A RESULT!


My 4-year old daughter and I were completely spellbound and astounded at the accomplishment of many of the - now professional - youngsters in the show. To mention but a few, the ` aerial `dancers` on vertical ropes were stunningly innovative, Bongo Boleros `acro-balancing` act (holding each other in impossible positions) was very classy indeed, and very funny. A courageous and skilled serious solo `dance-voice` piece with juggling clubs worked very well.

But it was the current band of merry `Splott-Stater's` - including children - who really stole the show with their `Ballet de Mono-Cyclettes' (swan lake in stripy tights with unicycles).

The deadpan delivery of daringly choreographed unicycle riding, falling, lifting, and bouncing - was the funniest thing I have seen, EVER.

To cap it all we had Cinderella on trapeze, an eerie and electric `UV` show, dextrous hat manipulation, comedy tumbling and the wild excitement of the fire - skills in the finale.

Gracefully and amusingly compered by Jenny Sanderson (complete with jelly on her head) the circus skills were brought most effectively to life by the unmistakeable `stamp` of the NoFit State training - attention to characterisation, theatricality, vocal clarity, original live music, and skilful costume design.


The sell-out audience (yes - the Sherman main stage totally sold-out) eloquently makes the point. We want more! We'll pay to see it! ‘Circus Cabaret` - all theatres should have one - REGULARLY!

Reviewed by: Celia Webb

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