NoFit Circus. Melbourne International Arts Festival. October 3 – 21, 2018

No lion tamer. No animal in sight, not in this modern circus!

An unruly bunch of circus misfits mingle, while stirring up a trail of mischief through the crowd. The show is soon to begin, the smell of buttery popcorn hovers and children are giggling with anticipation.

NoFit Circus have travelled from their own founding home in Cardiff, Wales, to bring us their new show Lexicon for this years Melbourne International Arts Festival, in the grounds of the Botanical Gardens. The show pays homage to the founding father of Circus some 250 years ago, Mr Phillip Astley. It celebrates a melding of traditional circus acts that are as engaging as they are spectacular.

Lexicon is the art of misbehaving. The circus begins with floppy rambunctious acrobats clambering over hovering aerial school desks. There is an old worldly feel about Lexicon; full of nostalgia that connects with the past yet crisply fresh with captivating and spellbinding material.

The performers are quick off the mark, keeping the audience grounded with fire juggling, cyr wheels, spinning diablos and stilt acrobatics.  Aerial swinging skits are enchanting, a captivating strap act, trapeze and tight ropes are bedazzling to watch. The clownish antics of the bicycles, tricycles and monocycles meshed in like dodgem cars are hilarious. And the monocycle performer wheeling along an elevated single row of upside down, long stemmed glasses keeps audiences on the edge of their seats.

This is experimental cinematic circus with its own distinctive montage of jump cut methodology bounding from one performance to the next. Direction by Firenza Guidi, who is an ongoing resident of NoFit Circus, has brought a distinctive flavor that resonates strongly with the performers.

The music is alive, with a rotating group of musicians and singers that deliver a blend of soulful rock and jazz fusion, in timing with the unruly clownish team of exceptionally talented performers, keeping the tent alive and kicking and   audiences jostling with laughter.

Magical circus at its best!

Flora Georgiou

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