Author Claire Shaw and Rhys Jones
Shows ImMortal2

ImMortal 2
No Fit State Circus , aberystwyth , May-27-05

The nofitstate circus stopped off in Aberystwyth as part of their summer tour with their show ImMortal2. Find out what two reviewers thought ….

Review by Rhys Jones, aged 10

On 20th May 2005 I went to see Circus ImMortal2. It was amazing.

When I arrived in the car park, the enormous silver dome caught my attention. It was like a big overturned ice cream. I wanted to slide down it. I walked inside. It was infested with metal bars. The bars were scaffolding used by the acrobats.

Words were painted on the cloth and told the story of William, the guardian angel of the slaughterhouse, who had to guide humans through all the stuff humanity is made of. They could then recognise happiness and journey into another life.

A man playing an accordion with a flower in his hair walked through the waiting audience and spoke to individuals. As we entered the arena it was covered in smoke like a blanket, I don’t think it was real smoke, it was probably dry ice. Come on, you wouldn’t really cover the audience in real smoke.

Just as the man with the accordion had said, people would be coming amongst us, left right and above us.

Five words: how – did – they – do – it?

There was a fire eater, a fire toucher, a fire spinner and a fire hula hooper. People swung overhead, walked tight ropes, hung in many different ways from ropes and performed various acrobatics. A man dressed up and acting like a lady bounced many balls and juggled them.

A giant rope net hung from the ceiling and the performers were tangled in it like fires.

The whole show gave me a big experience of an animal and clown-free circus. A street brawl broke out. There were pushes, punches and ladies hitting men with handbags. The circus had so much action. It was a totally worthwhile show to go to. I’m really glad it came to Aberystwyth and I hope it comes again. If you went, good on you. But if you didn’t, too bad. Maybe next time?

Review by Claire Shaw
(Somewhat older than 10)

Ever dreamed of running away and joining the circus? Well, never have I been so inspired. ImMortal2 was an eye-opener for me and I’m certain this sentiment went for the majority of those who experienced the show when it stopped off in Aberystwyth

If you’re expecting clowns, candyfloss and a ring-side seat, you’ll be disappointed. But what you do get is much more for your ticket price – an awe-inspiring, gripping mix of aerial acrobatics, live music, song, tumbling, dance and performance art that’ll stay with you way after you leave the venue.

nofitstate circus invite you in to their spaceship-like version of the ‘Big Top’. Here you enter the ‘slaughterhouse’ where, as the voices tell you, ‘William, the guardian angel has the hard task of helping you wade through all the stuff humanity is made of…’ to help you ‘recognise and seize your moment of happiness’.

Sounds heavy, dark and a little strange? Well, I guess it is in places. But the show works on so many levels, that each member of the audience, young or old, will take something different home with them.

In face the slaughterhouse isn’t so sinister, as from the outset it’s damn good, with its bar, selling cheap beer alongside boxes of jelly beans, hula hoops and organic orange juice. Here the audience mingles with the characters, who walk among their new batch of voyeurs, sometimes talking, other times communicating through mime, but all the time weaving you into their performance.

From here you are guided subtly into the next area of the tent, where the show progresses. In fact, the feeling of anticipation the show creates, of not knowing what will happen next, is stopping me from telling you too much. But know to expect a show packed full of fantastic set pieces from gravity-defying rope and trapeze work, juggling and tumbling, to a fantastic hula hoop sequence, all gelled together with music from a top-class band. Led by musical director ‘Rudy’, the talented band gives you a guided tour of this strange world through its haunting harmonies and upbeat original score that’s guaranteed to get you dancing.

ImMortal2 is indeed an assault on the senses, a second part of an alternative showcase written and directed by Firenza Guidi. Award-winning Guidi leads the nofitstate team, an eclectic mix of performance artists and production crew who you know exist as one big family on their fast-paced summer tour. Sure, some of the artists in the show are referred to in the programme as ‘trainees’, enthusiastic members of a community circus who have caught the bug and are excelling in creating their own unique brand of artistic vocabulary under the watchful eye of their talented mentors. And they’re brilliant! I’m inspired. Perhaps there’s hope for me after all? Forget this writing job, where’s my hula hoop?!

ImMortal2 stops off at Colwyn Bay from 27 May until 5 June then leaves Wales to continue its UK tour. Catch it if you can

#Touring Tent show