Theatre in Wales

Theatre, dance and performance reviews

ImMortal2

No Fit State Circus , Barry , May-25-05
This review first appeared in The Stage

To celebrate National Circus Day, the nofit state company launches a spectacle of delightful diversity in its Big Top shaped like a silver spaceship. Twenty years on the road, the Cardiff-based outfit continues a radical rethink of traditional circus activities, with not an animal, wild or domestic thankfully in sight.

The audience are part of the action, promenading among and often below, an eclectic group of artistes. The 21 performers interweave their skills with song, dance, sketches, video clips and street theatre. The event has a framework storyline but is rather perfunctory and lacking in impact. The real entertainment lies in the sheer variety of the skills, talents and athleticism displayed. These include trapeze, fire-eating, tumbling, juggling, bungee stunts, tightrope walking, whip cracking, acrobatics, mock fights, stilt walking, gymnastics, aerial ballet and what a girl achieves with hula hoops proves a genuine showstopper.

Throughout, a jazz band under the direction of Peter Reynolds pumps out music non-stop. Perhaps two hours is a long time for young children and the elderly to stand - though I did perch on some of the equipment occasionally - but well worth the effort.

Produced by Ali Williams and designed by Rhi Matthews, the show tours the UK, taking in major festivals at London Thames and Edinburgh, then to open Terraga Festival in Spain, the showcase for contemporary circus theatre.

Reviewed by: Jon Holliday

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