Theatre in Wales

Theatre, dance and performance reviews

ImMortal2

NoFit State Circus , Big Top/Out of the Tramworks (Edinburgh Festival0 , August-09-05

It’s been a long wait for a UK contemporary circus company to hit the jackpot with a highly successful touring show – but NoFit State have done just that. For a while, the race seemed to be between two London–based companies, The Generating Company and Mamaloucos. Meantime, Cardiff based NoFit State have got on with it: building a solid base, creating an integrated programme of professional and community work and bringing in writer/director Firenza Guidi for a long devising process. The result: ImMortal, an upbeat new promenade show, slightly re-worked for 2005 and on the road as ImMortal2.

So where did it all go right? The tent first of all. Say what you like, but circus and tents are made for each other: the complete control over production makes touring technically challenging work easier and this particular tent is a beauty, a silver spaceship in which the audience move around freely, surrounded on all sides by high-energy performance. Then there’s the performers: whilst the skills are a little less than we’d get from top-notch companies like Oz or Eloise, everything is performed with great gusto; there’s a lot of good ensemble work, particularly some of the ground-based rough-and-tumble scenes, and there’s a couple of really exceptional performers – the hula hoop girl is fabulous – and a cross-dressing juggler wins the kookiest character prize. Live music is another crucial element, the good-time jazzy-klezmer style hits the right note, and the availability of organic ginger beer helps to make this into a very satisfying ‘total circus’ experience!

Reviewed by: Dorothy Max Prior: Total Theatre

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