Theatre in Wales

Theatre, dance and performance reviews

Vividly entertaining and tumultuous

Tabu

NoFit State Circus , Earlham Park, Norwich , May-07-08
Tabu by NoFit State Circus Founded 21 years ago, the Cardiff- based NoFit State Circus is the UK's flagship “new circus” troupe and one of the more user-friendly companies of its kind. That generosity of spirit pervades Tabú, a vividly entertaining and tumultuous new promenade production that springs off the back of Gabriel García Marquéz's One Hundred Years of Solitude.

Co-commissioned by the Norfolk & Norwich Festival, Tabú is the one constant in an adventurous programme of contemporary and classical music, dance, alternative theatre and children's events. It plays through to the end of the festival before touring to Victoria Park, East London, (May 23-31) and Somerset College, Taunton (July 12-26).
NoFit's latest spectacle, directed by Firenza Guidi, is like dropping in on a wild party thrown by strangers, and emerging two hours later having begun to establish a peculiar but intoxicating kinship with your hosts. Portentously subtitled “standing on the edge of the wilderness”, this orchestrated chaos is peopled by exhibitionists infused with a kind of mad bacchanalian courage. A buoyant, 12-strong international cast swarms round and slices right through the spectators; we have no choice but to follow the peripatetic staging.

Although the opening-night performance felt more episodic than organic, the ensemble's skills were well deployed. Not to negate the men's contributions, but this show - revolving round themes of fear and desire - is inhabited by a bevy of strong females. I loved Adie Delany's giddy grin as she swung full-throttle on the trapeze, Vanina Fandiño squatting on a tightrope to roll a cigarette, the mesmerising drama of her sister Natalia's earthy writhings on the static trapeze and Shaena Brandell's entrancingly erotic hoop routine. The crude but endearingly child-like antics of Marcella Manzilli also merit mention.
Peter Swaffer's cabaret-rock score, played live by a five-piece band and featuring some forgivably cod-poetic lyrics, spurs all the characters on to unbridled heights. Box office: 01603 766400. To May 17, then touring. www.nofitstate.org

Reviewed by: The Times

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