Theatre in Wales

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At NoFit State

No Fit State Circus- ImMortal2 , South Bank, London , September 28, 2005
The big top never used to be an intellectually taxing place, but you'll need your brain in gear for NoFit State's latest show, which has popped up on the South Bank under the glowing beauty of Tower Bridge. Inspired by Kurt Vonnegut, the juggling, trapeze, tumbling and aerial performance all take place in a fantastical purgatory. Think Dante, but with bungees.

The slaughterhouse is a place where humans are brought after death to find their moment of happiness, without which they cannot pass on to the next life. They are helped along the way by guardian angel William. Dressed in black robes, reminiscent of a nineteenth century Catholic priest, he performs a solo rope dance with heavenly grace, plummeting from the ceiling with pin point precision.

There's an appropriately chaotic air as we move around the top while the acts swoop above. Beach balls and vibrant images bounce around our heads:here we are at the beach as swimsuited girls breast stroke through mid-air; now a wedding, now a brawl. One acrobat dances on a lamppost, defying not only gravity but his own body when clinging on with his hands, he lifts himself horizontal.

But the real trick is threading these moments with a pervasive sense of joyful abandon. As an audience we're marvelling at the 'otherness' of the awesomely talented performers. We're thinking that this looks wildly enjoyable and we want some. I couldn't tell you what it all meant, and there's lots of self consciously esoteric stuff going on, but my friend Andrew summed it up when he asked "Is this death? 'Cos death is fun."

Reviewed by: Emma John, Time Out

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