The seeds of NoFit State Circus were sown in the politically charged atmosphere of the 1980s.
They were five friends, street performers and activists – who would probably be rudely labelled ‘crusties’ by Boris Johnson.
“I was a juggling street performer,” says artistic director Tom Rack, the self-confessed “last man standing” from the original founders. “The 80s were politically charged; Margaret Thatcher, the miner’s strike, battle of the beanfield. In the early days, we were carefree, five young activists travelling to festivals, doing it for fun. We’ve tried to maintain that bohemian spirit and ethos.”
They became inspired by an emerging style of circus that focused on humans not animals, and used elements of the surreal, alternative comedy and performance styles like physical theatre, mime and dance. Archaos, who juggled chainsaws, Ra Ra Zoo whose shows included Juggling With a Conscience, and Argentina’s De La Guarda, who brought their dizzying performance style to The Roundhouse, updated a 250 year-old tradition and reimagined it for contemporary audiences.
The Cardiff-based outfit started making work which has regularly played at the Chalk Farm venue, including their latest Lexicon,
“The Roundhouse is our spiritual home in London,” says Rack. “The building itself feels like a big top, there’s always a great audience and and it has really championed the cause of contemporary circus.”
Rack, who remains passionate about performing in a traditional tent, says a space can make all the difference to the experience.
“It doesn’t feel like coming into a theatre where the audience sits there in the dark and says ‘come on impress me’. In the round everyone is involved, implicated and wrapped around the performance, there’s no 4th wall.”…
Read the Full Article at Etcetera