There are no ringside seats in the NoFit State circus tent. There is no ring and there are no seats. In this promenade production you stand where you like and wander where you please as the action takes place all around and, mostly, above you, occasionally allowing the stewards to shepherd you a few feet in one direction or another to let an acrobat on a German wheel pass within sweat-sniffing distance.
On the downside, there is an unbearable artiness about tabú. Attempts by the performers to mingle and clown around amidst the crowd produce laughter of only the most dutiful kind. The storyline, set in a rain-soaked, low-wattage future, is as incomprehensible as it is unnecessary. And standing around on uneven rubber matting, with your head twisted back in the claustrophobic gloom, is a lot less comfortable than sitting back to soak up the razzmatazz of a traditional circus.
A live jazz band keeps things swinging, however, and being close enough to touch, say, the end of the rope that a rippling muscled gymnast is spinning about on brings home the physicality, and magnifies the sheer, daring spectacle, of life on the tightrope or flying trapeze.
Earlham Park, Norwich, May 2-17, then touring to September 22
- Firenza Guidi
- Tom Rack for Nofit State Circus
- Cast includes
- Adie Delany, Natalia Fandino, Marco Fiera, Kevin Mcintosh, Simone Riccio, Marcella Manzilla
- Running time