Theatre in Wales

Theatre, dance and performance reviews

Exhilarating precision and delightful comic timing


Nofit State Circus , The Roundhouse London , April 7, 2009
Tabu by Nofit State Circus I am not a huge fan of promenade performance, so often I have found myself chivvied along by a hurried usher, willing me to step this way and that or scurry down a corridor or into a barn or up a chimney to sample the creative delights of the expectant performance givers.

No Fit State Circus invite you to ‘…become immersed in a promenade circus event taking place above around and amongst the audience in an explosion of furious fun and choreographed mayhem’

Choreographed mayhem? I spluttered into my brain, good lord I do hope not, as I had a flashback of a time in my childhood involving some well meaning nuns and a Morris dance…

So upon arrival at The Roundhouse I shuffle into the auditorium and cling to some big sturdy scaffolding draped in a reassuringly sturdy tarpaulin and settle in to absorb the proceedings gently on the periphery. Ha! Oh fool am I! The lights went down and my friendly tarpaulin was snatched away to reveal what I can only describe to you as a whole world of beautiful commotion, acrobats dangling seductively from great harnesses, that suspend them high above our heads, the atmosphere is charged with excitement and apprehension.

A live band strikes up and the magic begins, the performers come from every direction with flare and gusto and fire in their bellies, whooping and yelling as trampolines throw them every which way as they skim on their bungees just above our heads; a lovely little girl dances past me cradling a cuddly frog telling me to be quiet because he is sleeping! A jellyfish curtain wrapped around an aerialist descends at the far end of the space, a huge watery curtain sails by containing a writhing, gasping girl as she soars and sinks to the gentle voice of her colleague who is wandering gently among us. Then a cigar toting man swaggers over a bridge on my right twirling an umbrella made of fire, my attention is then drawn to the floor where a man in a giant wheel is whirling round and round while a pigtailed dancer flies around above. An hilarious trapeze act ensues with exhilarating precision and delightful comic timing. There’s more and more and too much to tell you about!

Full review and interview available on the web site here

Reviewed by: Gemma Wheelan (

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