NoFit State Circus – Archive Project launch

We’ve featured the internationally acclaimed, Cardiff-based contemporary circus, NoFit State on here a couple of times before. This January, the circus has begun work on a yearlong project to archive the company’s history and heritage.  The project, supported by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund will catalogue a huge archive of printed material, artefacts, film, photos and documentation covering the company’s 30 year history and will culminate in an exhibition and a new interactive website.

NoFit State Circus - Bianco by Seventh Wave

Bianco on tour, 2014

The project titled ‘From Ball’s Up to Bianco’ will tell the story of how a group of youthful Cardiff-based jugglers assisted by thousands of performers, crew, advocates, audience members and partners became directors of one of the most successful contemporary circuses of the century. It will also show the impact NoFit State has had on the growth of contemporary circus in the UK and further afield, as well as how well rooted it remains in the community of Cardiff. 

NoFit State Tent and audience

The Big Top at the Bath Fringe Festival 1999

Ali Williams, founder member and now Creative Director of the company comments, “It’s really very exciting to be starting this project, and to be working with experts from Glamorgan Archive and The Cardiff Story Museum to make some sense of all our archive which we have been collecting and storing for so many years. It’s a great fusion between the creative and heritage sectors and very pertinent to our local Cardiff community”.

NoFit State was born in Splott, and the company opened their new professional training space on Four Elms Road in 2014 while maintaining their community training space on John Street in the city centre. Recent tented tours have taken the company as far as Australia to Perth Festival. Currently, their show Bianco is part of the International Circus Festival in Marseilles and Noodles, the company’s theatre show will be presented at this year’s London International Mime Festival.

“It’s really a ‘done good’ story,” says Liz Lavender, Volunteer Co-ordinator for the project, “and we hope it will inspire people in many ways. We will be running a volunteering programme so people with very varied interests can be involved. We hope through working with local people through Volunteering Cardiff we can involve people in the whole process, from specialised activities where training will be given in oral history recording and editing for example to preservation techniques, event coordination, administration, web development and exhibition creation”.

For more information or to get involved contact

NoFit State are also keen to hear form anyone who has memories of seeing or being involved with any of the company’s community based shows or activities in the past.

About NoFit State

NoFit State was founded in 1986 by five friends. During a politically charged time, in a recession, and as a creative reaction to the world around them, the circus was born. Today, NoFit State is the UK’s leading large-scale contemporary circus company, producing professional touring productions and a wide variety of community, training, and education projects for people of all ages.


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