Nofit State Circus
|NoFit State Circus|
the Immortal tour 2006
|Circus tent?||a large Spaceship|
|Winter quarters||Training in Cardiff|
|Type of acts||contemporary circus - anarchic fusion with theatre|
|Other information||no animals|
Formed in 1986, NoFit State Circus have been a mainstay of new and contemporary circus in the United Kingdom since their inception, and have toured tented and theatrical shows at home and abroad. With the assistance of the British Council, their first big production Immortal had 300 performances in 27 locations in 9 countries. They also maintain an active education programme and run community projects that allow non-professional performers to devise circus work, working alongside the company's own professionals. NoFit State have been involved with many British Juggling Conventions.
Their show Immortal was described by the Scotsman newspaper as circus that "celebrates the human soul rather than just the human body", and elsewhere lauded as "rich, powerful stuff [...] overwhelming in its diversity of ideas". Writing in The Times, dance critic Donald Hutera gave a more measured response, saying that it was better to "surrender to the show's deceptively shambolic quicksilver atmosphere" than concentrate overmuch on the plot. Immortal won a Tap Water Award, an Editor's Choice Award from threeweeks.co.uk, and The Jury Award at Spain's Tarrega Festival. NoFit State's next show, Tabú, premiered at Tredegar Park, Newport in April 2008, and has been touring Britain and Europe in the time since. Directed by Firenza Guidi, who also worked on Immortal, Tabú shares much of Immortal's visual and narrative style, and carries over some of the old cast. It has received mixed reviews. Lyn Gardner writing for The Guardian called it "fabulous stuff that owes more to contemporary dance and experimental theatre than it does to sawdust and elephants", but others have criticised that the live show seems to have "no connection with the programme’s bogglingly detailed back story", and that the circus skills on display "don’t dramatise the original concept".
In 2012, the company developed their show BIANCO: Time For Beauty in partnership with the Eden Project. The promenade show, also directed by Firenza Guidi, ran in the tented performance space throughout the summer, and was described by This Is Cornwall as "an incredible experience". The show was then redeveloped to incorporate new ideas, acts and performers in 2013 to become BIANCO: Turning Savage. It opened at The Roundhouse in April 2013, and was praised by the Guardian newspaper for "combining first-rate skills with a joyful, unashamed pleasure". BIANCO: Turning Savage went on to tour venues across the UK in NoFit State's custom-designed big top spaceship tent, including a sell-out run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August 2013.
NoFit State's show NOODLES premiered at the 2013 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The production, by Finnish circus director Maksim Komaro, is staged in a traditional theatre setting and received mixed reviews.
The company are also known for their outdoor work. Both Parklife and Open House were directed by Orit Azaz, and operate by inviting local amateur and professional performance groups to train in public with NoFit State performers. Barricade, also directed by Azaz, is a large-scale outdoor performance which has played to audiences in the UK and France.
Since 2006 NoFit State have been running a permanent training space / school in Cardiff. They provide a variety of aerial and ground-based classes for all experience levels, including ropes, silks, aerial hoop, static trapeze, acrobalance and juggling. Their training space also houses Wales' only flying trapeze rig. The company run a successful Youth Circus programme, and students have since gone on to study at Circomedia.
Immortal - 2002 - 2006
Tabu: 2008 - 2010
Mundo Paralelo: 2012
BIANCO: Time for Beauty and Turning Savage: 2012 - 2013
NOODLES: 2013 - 2014
Open House: 2013
- NoFit State on the British Council website
- Roger Cox. The Scotsman. Retrieved 2009-07-28.
- Tony Layton. The British Theatre Guide. Retrieved 2009-07-28.
- Donald Hutera. The Times review, duplicated on the NoFit State website. Retrieved 2009-07-28.
- NoFit State Circus and Meltdown Retrieved 2009-07-28.
- Lyn Gardner. The Guardian. Retrieved 2009-07-28.
- David Jays. The Times. Retrieved 2009-07-28.
- Sideshow Circus Magazine. Retrieved 2009-07-28.