Friday, September 18, 2009

Ah me, I feel like a Dadaist... reminds me that I shouldn't trust what I get through da medja.

Fair enough, they spelt my name right (possibly a first in newspapers and tv) and called me a 'circus historian' (which I find hilarious, even if I do actually find that stuff fascinating - I even help run a website about modern circus since I retired from perfoming.)

They put incorrect name checks on Kevin (aerialist) and Marco (riding the Penny Farthing bicycle) - then cut to Le Grand Cirque (much cuter) and some funny stuff with orange balloons that humans can get inside (something I witnessed back at a juggling convention in the early 80s - still funny and novel to the public, of course) - and finished with 'the show will run until 27th September" - without pointing out that NoFit State and their show Tabú (about human fears) does not include comedy balloons (or even the fear of asphyxiation).

That funny, cute bit (for your kids) - they should have said - comes from a show you have missed this time around.

hey ho.

I don't even know why I feel even slightly surprised.

Don't get me wrong, if you want another Cirque du Soleil clone, then Le Grand Cirque probably will suit your family perfectly.

It just misses what NoFit State Circus attempts to offer people (participation)... (I feel tired now, perhaps I'll go lie down).

They've only been working at this for 25 years, perhaps da medja will get it, one day. As well as the main show, Nofit State do community outreach stuff - check out the Parklife blog. Real people, remember them? Parklife - Nofit State's outreach programme..

But anyway - NoFit State's Taboo show runs until September 27th in Cardiff.

You don't get to sit down, but walk around in a club atmosphere with stuff happening all around you. Really, this stuff is aimed at young adults (who probably don't think 'circus' has much to offer them). It works (and wins awards) all over mainland Europe.

In the UK new circus still hasn't trained (or attracted) a suitable audience of grown-ups. One of the reasons for the group dropping the word 'circus' and going for NoFit State©.

You have been warned (surely) that 'the bar is open'.

G'night. (I'm sure the current troupe don't need me as an advocate of 'shows I recommend'.)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Watch us all on tv tonight!

For those of you in the area (or who can receive ITV Wales) an arts programme called The Wales Show will do a feature on NoFit State this evening at 22:35.

Your humble reporter may even show up, in the guise of a 'circus historian', to put the New Circus concept into context compared and contrasted with the traditional images of circus.

Or hit the cutting room floor, for waffling. :-)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

NoFit State in Cardiff Bay

NoFit State will feature in ITV Wales' "The Wales Show" at 10.35 on Thursday, September 17th 09.

I know this because I went down to see the NoFit State crew today, already set up outside Cardiff's Millennium Centre. I even ended up being interviewed myself - to describe 'New Circus' in the context of the traditional image of the circus - by the charming Frances Donovan.

You can check out a Timeline I made on the Circus Arts Development Agency website (which I work on) - to see that circus has always been an early uptaker (they used gas lighting, then electric lighting), has always incorporated new tricks, stunts and toys (the unicycle developed from the Penny-Farthing bicycle, but BMX stunts began to appear in Archaos back in the 80s), and originally appeared in outdoor ampitheatres and temporary wooden structures before tents became used for touring.

Circus history remains predominantly oral, and some of it should be taken with a pinch of salt (as hype became part of the circus style in the days of Barnum). Daredevil stunts, exotic people and animals, extraordinary visions, exciting live music - these have formed part of what the circus had to offer as it travelled around the globe, but fashions keep changing in what people want to see and experience.

We mostly agree that animals (apart from those great apes, 'the humans', of course!) should no longer feature in shows, and NoFit State doesn't aim so much at 'the family audience' as at young adults (although everyone is still welcome, of course). It offers a 3-dimensional sensurround immersive experience -something you can't entirely appreciate through television - you have to be there!
Don't miss the unique opportunity to see this award winning show!
See previous posts for further details, links and video clips.

Thursday, September 03, 2009


Cardiff's own homegrown 'new circus' - now an international touring company - soon appearing at the Millennium Centre for a short run (11 September 2009 - 27 September 2009) - a brief glimpse of the award-winning show

“This is the future of British circus” The Guardian

NoFit State return in triumph to the Millennium Centre

You can see what a hive of busy folks can do, to keep you entertained.

NoFit State tent getting erected last year at the Millenium Centre.

The WMC promo for the international touring show

The NoFit State promo

A glimpse of the current show on DailyMotion - not the Hot Chip clip on YouTube...

And yeah, the NoFit State community work carries on as the main show tours...see the link to Parklife in Stockton and the Parklife blog.
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