Theatre in Wales

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At NoFit State

No Fit State Circus- ImMortal2 , Lister park, Bradford , June 28, 2005
The internationally renowned NoFit State Circus has rolled into the Bradford Festival with new show Immortal 2 and what a spectacular treat it is.

Forget any notions of pretentious circus art-this is a funny, irreverent, sensual, spooky, breathtaking show that whips along in a frenzy.

It’s an inspiring, gripping mix of aerial acrobatics, live music, gymnastics, dance and circus skills with a twist.

As we trooped into the silver spaceship-style big top, a jolly Italian accordian player with flowers in his hair wandered around telling us the action would be “around, above, and maybe within us.

A live jazz band struck up and spotlights beamed on performers scattered around, swinging from ropes, swings and a hire wire. It was quite eerie - my six-year-old niece Ellie’s eyes were wide as saucers- then came a whirlwind of acrobatics, tumbling and gravity defying stunts, which the audience followed around. It was cleverly choreographed to appear spontaneous; one minute we’d be gawping at acrobats tangled in a giant rope spider’s web and then we’d leap back to make way for a group of dancers wrapped around each other tango style, launching into a hilarious hand bag brawl.

Trapeze Artists swung high, with not a safety net in sight, and a lovely aerial ballet had artists wearing fifties style bathing costumes and floral hats ‘swimming’ from seas of swirling white cloth. Particularly impressive was a hula hoop girl twirling a dozen hoops around her body.

It all looked stunning; the artists wore 1930’s style suits, pill box hats, stilettos, ripped tights, tutus and hoped skirts. Think Baz Lurhman’s Moulin Rouge on trapeze swings.

The strength, energy and skill of these world-class performers was overwhelming and their sense of fun infectious.

This must see show is a festival highlight. Prepare to be on your feet for a couple of hours, but there’s an interval and a bar selling cheap beer and organic juice. Popcorn is served from a delightful Victorian contraption.

Not a clown, an elephant or a stick of candy floss in sight – but as thrilling a circus experience as you could ever dream of. Runs until Sunday at Lister Park.

Reviewed by: Emma Clayton - Bradford Telegraph and Argus

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