NoFit State Circus – Bianco, Cardiff, 23 May – 7 June 2014

If you’ve recently driven anywhere around the streets just south of John Lewis, underneath the railway bridge, then you’re likely to have seen a large silver spaceship hanging around John Street (where the temporary library was a few years ago). A ha! But this is no silver spaceship. Instead, it’s the temporary big top that’s housing NoFit State’s current show, Bianco. The show is open in Cardiff until 7 June 2014, and I highly recommend you go see it.

NoFit State Circus - Bianco by Seventh Wave

The show toured Cardiff last year, although that time it was situated in the backstage area of the main stage of the Millennium Centre.  The show was originally co-produced by the Eden Project, and I can’t imagine a better place to have watched it in. But back to the space ship, which is Tardis-like and surprisingly roomy. As you’re invited into the big top, the ushers tell you you’ll have a better view if you get right in the middle of it all, so you step in between the large scaffolding, and the action begins. There’s a pulsing soundtrack played by a live band, and suddenly people appear inside the scaffolding, shouting and jeering at each other. It’s high energy and very restless –  and you can’t help but get swept along by it.

There are 15 set pieces led by individual performers, nearly all of which take place in the air (handy, as it’s a standing performance – so you can be standing further back and still feel like you see ‘the big stuff’). Although NoFit State has been based in Cardiff since it was formed back in the 1980s, today the performers come from all over the world, which you hear as they wear microphones through some of their pieces and speak in various languages to the audience.

And there’s all sorts – some very clever juggling; terrifying ariel straps work; incredible twisting, climbing and dropping from ropes; a business man themed strip-tease on the tightrope; and a beautiful trapeze piece underneath a shower of falling snow to finish things off.

I’ve been to see two other NoFit State shows, and it always makes me beam with a little Cardiff city pride that our resident circus is so freaking awesome. If you’re inspired to become super limber and learn some tricks after seeing them (like I always want to!) then you should check out the NoFit State classes, held at their circus base in Cardiff. And if you’re interested, there’s a flying trapeze taster session that runs every other Friday at 6pm (this Friday 30 June is the next one).

 

BOOK TICKETS FOR BIANCO HERE

www.nofitstate.org

Check out the NoFit State FACEBOOK PAGE for regular updates on the progress of their work

Cardiff: my personal geography, by Gwion Thorpe

gwion-thorpe-web

In Cardiff, home is…

Canton with the wife, kids and the coolest 3-legged dog in Wales.

Favourite Cardiff eatery

Hangfire Smokehouse at The Lansdowne

Ideal first date in Cardiff?

Fry up at Saffron, boating on Roath Lake, watch Wales beat England (again!) at the stadium, pints at Tap House, curry at Purple Poppadom, early night 😉

Tell us something that most people don’t know about you

I have the longest tongue in Wales (unofficial)

Earliest Cardiff memory

Watching Paul Bodin miss THAT penalty at the Arms Park and seeing grown men cry

What was the last film you saw?

Frozen (for probably the 20th time this week)

Favourite Cardiff shops

Rules of Play, Riverside Market

Best Cardiff-based leisure activity

Chilling in the park (take your pick). Simples.

What was the last book you read?

The Prodigal Daughter, Archer.

Biggest ambition

For my children to be proud of me and not to have any regrets on my death bed

Best Cardiff pubs

Urban TapHouse and The Lansdowne

Favourite Cardiff discovery

The New York Hoagie

Last album you listened to

Gipsy Kings, self titled (instant sunshine).

If you had friends coming to Cardiff for a weekend, what would you recommend they do?

Take me out on my ideal first date (minus the early night)!

Your ambitions for the future?

No regrets and make my children proud

What do you want to achieve this year?

Four million people taking part in The Big Lunch on June 1st!! 

Gwion Thorpe is involved in a number of social / community projects in Cardiff / Wales. Current day job is social marketing for The Big Lunch, a wonderfully simple campaign to help strengthen communities and spread a bit of happiness by encouraging people to have lunch with their neighbours annually on the 1st Sunday in June.  Also proudly a Director for Cardiff’s award-winning RCMA Social Enterprise (home of the Riverside Market) and a (very) part-time blogger at inspiringcardiff.com, sharing the stories of awesome people doing really cool things across the city. Cymro Cymraeg!

Gwion was photographed at The Lansdowne by Adam Chard

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