Theatre in Wales

Theatre, dance and performance reviews

An intoxicating mix of music and high wire skills

Tabu

NoFit State Circus , Tredegar Park, Newport , May-08-08
Tabu by NoFit State Circus CAN circus be sexy? I mean in both senses.
Is it cool to hang out in an environment you last enjoyed as a kid? Do you lose street cred if you sneak off to the Big Top?

Is there something of the zeitgeist here? Is this real theatre? If itís Nofit State Circus, the answer is emphatically ďyesĒ.

This is adult circus, so hip it sizzles and so cool itís hot. No wonder itís big in London and Europe.

But itís also sexy in the, well, erotic sense.
Somehow circus is supposed to be an ironic representation of the sexy: aerialists in glorified swimming costumes, strong men who do nothing but pump iron, acrobats in pastel lycra leotards.

But not really erotic Ė not least because itís for kids.

However, Nofit State Circusís latest show, Tabu, quite definitely has a sexiness about it, with the performers being explicitly amorous but also self-aware.
Theyíre attractive and they know it.
The Tabu (why not taboo? Donít ask) is fear, rather than any sexual prohibition, but you donít really need to know that.

What you get is an intoxicating mix of eclectic music (from funk to klezmer by way of jazz and rock), eccentric solos, pratfall clowning, trapeze work and high-wire thrills that often isnít that different from any other circus, but here is so close you can smell the sweat.

This yearís follow-up to the hugely successful ImMortal series is in some ways less ambitious.
Thereís less technology, less quirkiness and no outer circle to walk round, although the audience is still there in the thick of it.

Any attempt at a comprehensible narrative seems to have been abandoned Ė though I guess director-writer Firenza Guidi (pictured) has always seen her text as a starting-point rather than a plot to be followed.

And this is officially a preview prior to the show going to London and a subsequent European tour, which means weíre stepping into the process early on, so from past experience, by the time it returns it will be slicker Ė and maybe even sexier.

Reviewed by: David Adams

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