Chapter 6

Parklife and Tabú

In this chapter you'll find the new explorations of the Parklife Project, and the series of Tabu shows, in the tent

Environmental footprint

Company business

In terms of environmental impact we reduced our footprint this year with new bunk wagons and lighting equipment. We reduced fuel consumption by approximately 20%.

25 and 26 Jan 2008

Splott on the Landscape 3

Community shows

Four Elms project begins


In early 2008, following negotiations, Cardiff City Council offered NoFit State the school rooms, which were attached to the Trinity Methodist Church on 4 Elms Road in Adamstown.

The Grade II listed building was offered on a 99 year lease for £1 a year on the condition that the building was brought back into use on a not-for-profit basis.

When completed, 4 Elms will possess 2 main spaces suitable for circus training and rehearsals, several large meeting rooms, breakout spaces, and rooms for offices, toilets and showers


Inside Out Roundabout


Go to Show Page

First large scale outdoor experiment to re-stage routines from ImMortal on the "doughnut staging", outdoors, for Swindon Festival. This led to the Parklife Enquiry.


Arts & Business Award


Arts & Business. Paul Ralley wins volunteer of the year.


Tabú - standing on the edge of the wilderness


Go to Show Page

ACE gave a grant of £156,800 (this is the highest project grant ever given to a circus company by ACE)

11 -16 Nov 2008

Lift Off @ Curve


See the attached downloadable PDF for notes from the Director, Firenz Guidi.

Here is an article about Lift Off, celebrating the opening of Leicester's new theatre - from The Guardian

Theatre preview: Lift Off, Leicester
Curve, Tue 11 to Nov 16
Lyn Gardner
Saturday 8 November 2008 00.01 GMT Last modified on Saturday 8 November 2008 00.04 GMT

It's not every day that a brand new theatre opens, and I think it would be safe to say that we're unlikely in these credit-crunched times to see another building like Curve, the £61m state-of-the-art building that replaces the old Leicester Haymarket. Opening at a time when the bricks and mortar approach to regional theatre is under scrutiny, it's going to have a lot to prove. Its first production, Simply Cinderella - a new musical directed and choreographed by Adam Copper - opens in early December, but the theatre is opening its doors in celebratory mood this week with what's being described as "a dramatic promenade display" which allows the audience to move around the building and gaze at its wonders while ingesting a little art. NoFit State Circus, Sharon D Clarke and Nupur Arts are just some of those taking part.

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Dec 2008

Appearing at the Mood Indigo Festival in Mumbai


Ali convinces Indian Customs Officer that she is a trapeze artist, in order to blag her way through Customs with all the equipment! (4 mins)

In December, funding from the British Council enabled NFSC to take a specially commissioned work (loosely based on Macbeth) to Mumbai as a part of the Mood Indigo Festival.

Restaged Immortal for a student festival in Mumbai a week after the big terror attack. Travel funded by British Council and everyone on a freebie. A week of rehearsals without rigging set and instruments that were all impounded at customs until the day before the show, audience of 3000 being fed through one metal detector , turning into a riot and the audience being chased off campus by riot police . managed to perform several hours later.

Many many stories about this one! (Ali W)

24 -25 April 2009

Splott on the Landscape 4

Community shows

Go to Show Page

[From the Sherman Theatre advertising]

The internationally renowned, award-winning company NoFit State Circus present a stunning and wildly entertaining Circus Cabaret event, Splott on the Landscape 4 on 24 – 25 April at Sherman, Cardiff.

Splott on the Landscape 4 is the latest project from the only non-animal touring Circus Company based in Wales who recently took the Wales Millennium Centre by storm with their internationally acclaimed production Immortal. Recognised for its innovative, high quality approach to community involvement, NoFit State Circus mixes traditional circus skills and spectacle with narrative drama, physical theatre, dance, music and film.

Splott on the Landscape 4 will include a mixture of professional performers and highly skilled community performers with ages ranging from 10 to 55. Brought together in a Cabaret style evening, Splott on the Landscape promises some spectacular performances from No Fit State professionals as well as favourites such as the legendary community unicycle ballet to create an evening of unbelievable skill and hilarity.

Splott on the Landscape 4 is a fundraiser for the Cardiff Community training space. This is a fully equipped circus training space open to both professionals and the Cardiff community. NoFit State run courses in trapeze, acrobatics, tightrope, juggling, unicycling and general circus skills.

Splott on the Landscape 4 will be at Sherman for two nights only on Friday 24 – Saturday 25 April at 7.30pm. Tickets are £10 (Reductions £8, Under 19s £6) and can be booked from the Box Office now on 029 2064 6900 or online at (no booking fee)


Parklife 2009

Community shows

Parklife Enquiry - Go to Show Page

Originally titled The Great Outdoor Circus Enquiry, the Parklife project is a large scale creative conversation to explore and develop ideas for large scale outdoor circus performance, new ways of working and new ways of creating extraordinary experiences for our audiences. The conversation can happen in many modes – singing / music, theatre devising, circus skills training, exchanging skills and approaches with other practitioners, engaging with objects and equipment, site responsive work, public engagement – and will include collaboration and creative exchanges between professional artists and creative practitioners at all levels of professional development, creative community groups, the passing public and anyone else who wants to join in. The conversation has begun with a creative development week, ‘It’s A Week’, which took place outside a derelict warehouse off the Millennium Coastal Path in Llanelli, South Wales.

Parklife has been commissioned by the Without Walls consortium of UK arts festivals. The first Parklife residency will be at Stockton International Riverside Festival 24th July – 1st August 2009. Residencies planned for 2010 include Brighton Festival and Norfolk and Norwich Festival. We hope that the Parklife project will result in some great ideas for a large scale outdoor circus performance in 2011.
Creative Director’s report

Without Walls ( Parklife!)

In February we were invited to tender for a Without Walls commission (Without walls is a consortium of English Festivals who commission new works)

The distinctive performance language of Immortal was developed through a series of large scale collaborations between artists and communities (Stepping Stones Trilogy). We decided we would like to return to the creative spirit and ethos of these collaborations in order to invent a performance language for outdoor contexts.

In 2008, we were invited to stage a large scale outdoor community performance as part of Swindon Summer Festival and were able to begin a process of enquiry into the creative potential of outdoor circus.

This experience raised a number of key questions for further exploration:
• How to effectively showcase high level circus skills for audiences of several thousand?
• What theatrical format and structure will enable us to engage large numbers of audience in a meaningful, memorable and inspiring experience?
The tender to Without Walls was successful and we have been working with Orit to develop this new performance project which has been commissioned by Stockton 2009, Norfolk and Norwich 2010 and Brighton 2010. We will be resident in local parks for a week, work with local communities and create festival finale shows at each venue. The project begins with a week of set development, followed by a week of creative development with the CAST ( a mixture of professionals, emerging artists and community volunteers)

NoFit State hurled the tent off its circus to unleash a fiesta of invention, spectacle and creative collision. Parklife reinvented what is possible in public space, and created an exuberant new form of outdoor circus theatre.
Parklife brought an impressive aerial playground to the public and embarked upon a creative journey before their very eyes.
100 deck chairs invited passers-by and local residents to join a joyful open-air circus residency. With parklife, NoFit State drew in the energy, passion and talents of communities up and down the UK through taster workshops, open house rehearsals, impromptu performances and early morning happenings.
Cheerleaders, kickboxers, freerunners and belly dancers worked together with out international company of world class circus artists to craft thrilling large scale outdoor shows, uniquely for and by the community.
Parklife pushed the boundaries of what can happen in public space to deliver a powerful, inspiring and spectacular celebration of the passion people share for what they do.


Tabú - my fear and yours

1-3 Aug 2009

ImMortal cabaret at The Big Chill


A restaging of ImMortal routines at The Big Chill music festival with artists from ImMortal that were not on tour with Tabu.

Eastnor Castle

Sept 2009 - March 2010

On With The Show

Major Collaborations

NoFit State took part in a campaign to let people know about the change from analogue to digital for S4C television in Wales - the campaign was very effective.

"A trio of Cardiff-based communications firms have won a top industry award at the prestigious Chartered Institute of Public Relations’ (CIPR) Excellence Awards 2010 for a campaign which helped herald the digital switchover for viewers of S4C, the Welsh-language channel.

The team including Working Word PR, Cazbah Marketing and Events and JM Creative, were the only Welsh companies shortlisted for the UK Awards and won Gold beating 60 entries to win the coveted ‘integrated campaigns’ category.

The three firms worked together to create and deliver the On with the Show digital switchover campaign for broadcaster S4C.

The imaginative On with the Show campaign aimed to communicate to S4C’s viewers the benefits of digital television and the timetable for S4C becoming a totally digital, entirely Welsh-language channel replacing analogue television in their area.

The campaign was judged on the success of its strategy, creativity, cost effectiveness and results. Judges said: “This was a great integrated campaign with a well-thought out creative which was effective on-air and off-air. It has delivered great results”.

The firms enlisted the help of some of S4C’s best known stars and the acclaimed NoFitState Circus for the integrated campaign – using advertising, marketing and PR techniques to communicate S4C’s key messages. The circus-themed, celebrity-led campaign played on `the idea that switching to digital was easier than learning a circus skill.

As part of the campaign, seasoned S4C personalities like Sarra Elgan, Angharad Mair and Dudley Newbery learnt numerous circus skills like juggling, walking the tightrope and riding a unicycle to name a few. In a hands-on campaign, the celebrities then went into the heart of communities across Wales to showcase their skills, providing residents with the information they needed to continue to watch S4C.

Welsh communications firms scoop Gold at UK awards

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Parklife 2010

Community shows
March 2010

Barricade - developing the partnership


In March 2010 Ali Williams and Orit Azaz pitched the idea of a new outdoor creation to the partners of the ZEPA network. ZEPA ( Zones European Partners Artistic) is a network of 5 UK and 4 French based partners funded by Interreg. Nofitstate won the commission and during the rest of the year, spent time developing the concept for a new show Barricade, they travelled back and forward to France to meet the partners , visit their incredible creation spaces and to plan the tour. At the end of 2010 they spent time putting together the creative team which included Dan Potra ( set design), Tarn Aitkin ( structures design), Barnz Munn ( rigging design), Sean Donohoe ( Costume design) and Peter Reynolds ( Composer). The budget of approx. ½ million Euros needed to cover creation and touring to the nine partners on two sides of the channel.


Tabú - I will be bad


Total Theatre Award for Tabú


Stretching the Wire Lab


We wanted to explore how we might develop our style of circus into theatre spaces. Stretching the Wire was a series of weeklong workshops led by different directors and choreographers, each with their own approach and artistic interest. We invited performers we were interested to work with to participate in this lab based training programme.There was an informal showing at the end of each week and a discussion about which skills and approaches we might like to develop in a theatre show. We worked with: Frank Armstrong (Voice), Kevin Brooking (Clown), Angela DeCastro (Clown), Liam Steel (Physical theatre), Amit Lahav (Physical theatre), Mladen Materick (Visual theatre) and Firenza Guidi (physical theatre); the Lab process was facilitated by Orit Azaz.

The download is a copy of the Info for Artists.

You can also find the Evaluation Report here

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Walk on the Wildside


Show as part of Director's Lab - Firenza staged this at the end of the week.

"part of the directors lab but Firenza insists on an end game so we rehearse in the Black E with community groups to stage a show in a week and to investigate what making a theatre piece might look like with Firenza in charge" Ali W

July 2010

Move into John Street


During the project planning stages of the 4 Elms development, the church sold The Annexe and NoFit State was forced to look for a temporary home elsewhere, to bridge the gap between leaving the Annexe, and the completion of the 4 Elms development. The Welsh National Opera rehearsal rooms in John St became available, and NoFit State took on the building on a 5 year lease, with a break clause after 2 years that could be invoked by either party.

"NoFit State has moved into a new home in the centre of Cardiff. The company has taken over what used to be the WNO building in John Street, Cardiff. The building will become the office and rehearsal space for the company, a space for professionals to train and develop work and the base for community activity. The company runs classes for people of all ages in all sorts of circus skills including trapeze, acrobalance, chinese pole, rope, silks, juggling, unicycling.

The company is looking for people who need rehearsal space and wish to hire great space at very competitive rates. We have two large spaces, a fully rigged main training space and a large dance studio. The building is bigger than our current needs and we’d like to share our space with other arts organisations that need space for rehearsal, training or classes."

16 Dec 2010

Winners and losers have been announced by the Arts Council of Wales


"One surprise is the inclusion of five new organisations – and these are the real winners. NoFit State, Sinfonia Cymru, Theatr Ffynnon, Canolfan Gerdd William Mathias and Independent Ballet Wales all become revenue funded for the first time. Gwent-based Independent Ballet Wales and Cardiff’s NoFit State Circus, for example, each receive £200,000."

from Theatre In Wales website