Theatre in Wales

Theatre, dance and performance reviews

ImMortal 2

No Fit State Circus , Cambridge , July-20-05
Myself and a large group of local circus types went to see the show last night in Cambridge, so I thought I'd write a review.

You may only know No Fit State from British Juggling Conventions, where They often turn up and run a tent for renegades, open stages and workshops.
Immortal 2 is an example of what they're doing for the rest of the year; And Immortal 2 is unlike anything you've seen before.

Firstly, it's a 'promenade' show - no seats. The audience gathers outside and in a small bar area before the show starts - but there's already things going on; a man pumps up a hairdresser's chair and sharpens a cutthroat razor; a drunk seeming woman gets her handbag caught up with the tent poles; another woman dreamily picks flower petals from a daisy and drops them from a ten foot high platform. There are gauze curtains between us and the rest of the tent and we can see some vague shapes, and occasionally a man with
an accordion wanders past, talking nonsense....

Then it begins. The curtains open and the audience wanders in, not Entirely sure what to expect.

What we get is high energy aerial acts - from doubles trapeze, to corde lisse, to silks - high in the roof of the tent or just over ones head.
Acts appear from behind us and between us - the staging is flawless, the Audience being gently moved to a safe distance by stewards who are sometimes part o the show, sometimes not. A live band starts in the corner and one of the performers pushes an old pram through the audience; two more start play-fighting on a steel frame at the other side of the tent.

However it's not just an aerial show. A tall man wearing high heels bounce-juggles on a stage; there's a good hat juggler just after the interval. As a Chinese pole act begins, the rest of the cast burst into song. Sometimes performers brush past you muttering to themselves,
sometimes they talk directly to you. There's a brief moment of fire juggling and eating at the end. The performers shout, and scream, and are full of enthusiasm for what they're doing.

The audience is more mixed than I've seen at tented circus shows here - From toddlers to elderly couples with a large proportion of twenty and thirty-somethings. Most of them are open-mouthed at the skill levels displayed by the performers, the visual and aural onslaught of the show and the sheer weirdness of it all. Most of my group have been watching circus in many different forms for years, and some of us have performed around the country, but we all agreed that this show is the best British circus we've seen.

Personally I spent most of the show grinning like an idiot at the sheer Joy of it all.

If the show turns up near you - there's dates on www.nofitstate.com for Manchester, Edinburgh and London - go and see it. Ali and her crew (and there's a lot of them - 40 or so) have produced a wonderful example of how creative 'new' circus can be. So far in Cambridge they've sold out nearly every night. You won't regret it

Reviewed by: Cambridge Community Circus

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