Chapter 5

The ImMortal series

Tom Rack, founder member and Creative Director, introduces this group of ever-evolving shows
10 - 13 Apr 2003

BJC#16 Brighton


NoFit State provided the little big top (Blue Tent) for the Renegade cabaret shows - at the British Juggling Convention.


Circus Space renovates

Other News

"In 2003 they received a £400,000 grant from Dalston City Partnership, as part of a scheme to regenerate the area, and £100,000 from the Foundation for Sports and the Arts, and then spent a year renovating the building. But this was only the start. The second phase cost £750,000 (from the Corporation of London and the European Regional Development Fund)."

11 Oct 2003

Splott on the Landscape

Community shows
17 -18 Jan 2004

Clown workshop with Kevin Brooking


These are the only red nose clowns you will find on our website - this photo comes from a master class from the world-famous teacher Kevin Brooking.

15 - 18 Apr 2004

17th British Juggling Convention


ImMortal - Coming Out Alive


Go to Show Page

This was the first fully professional ImMortal show, touring with material drawn from the third Stepping Stone production in 2002. Variations continued for three more years.

Download a PDF of our publicity material, for hires, here.

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Welsh Theatre Award


Best English Production - ImMortal

29 Aug 2004

ImMortal cabaret by trainees


Trainees put on a show, inside the UFO tent at Pembroke Dock.


NoFit State becomes a registered charity

Company business
12 Dec 2004

1st Wales Circus Convention


Organised by NoFit State Circus. Coordinated by Mr Jules

The 1st Wales Circus Convention - held at the Wales Millenium Centre (WMC), Cardiff Bay, Cardiff.

Times: 10am - 4.30pm for workshops. Show at 5pm -6pm.

Workshops on offer:

Juggling with Toby Walker
Whips & Lassoo with Peter Gamble
Hats (bring your own hat!) with ALF
Staff/Baton with Kevin Mcintosh
Ariel(static), Web Rope/Cord Lisse with Cirq-U
Acrobatic Balance with Bongo Bolero

Toby Philpott gave a couple of talks about 'New Circus'.

PLUS 4 workshops taught by artists from Cirque Eloise ! (details to be confirmed as soon as).

Cost: 5 pounds. This 5 pounds gets you 5 pounds OFF the price of a Cirque Eloise ticket (at The WMC) !

December 2004

Christmas Party in the UFO tent


UFO tent offered as a venue for 'your Christmas Party'.

Download PDF of publicity, here.

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Equipment Hire and Event Services


Touring and performing were always supplemented by hiring out the tents, agency work, workshops, etc.

Download a colourful PDF of our publicity material for these extra services, here.

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In addition to touring, the company delivered approximately 90 outreach workshops and performance activities.
Helped set up the Pontypridd Community Circus (funded by Clore Duffield Foundation); Porth Carnival Project and summer learning project, etc.




Go to Show Page

Second year of the ImMortal tour and apprenticeship programme.

The tour was funded by ACW and ACE and toured to three Welsh venues, five English venues and saw the company perform on the Edinburgh fringe for the first time in 10 years.

The show was critically acclaimed, won several awards. In Edinburgh the show was invited to be part of the biannual British council showcase attended by over 200 international promoters and bookers. The showcase was a huge success and the company received many offers of future work. After Edinburgh the show was presented at Fira de teatro de Calle Tarrega( A large scale European showcase festival in Cataluyna) Once again the company took the festival by storm, won the best show at the festival award and connected with many potential bookers for 2006.

Alongside the tour a number of workshop projects took place including the set up of Pontypridd Community Circus funded by Clore Duffield foundation, the Porth carnival project and summer learning project. The company also delivered approx 90 outreach workshop or performance activities2005

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The Jury Award Tarrega Festival, Spain


Tap Water Award in Edinburgh


Set up as a boycott of the Perrier Awards (Perrier owned by Nestle).

Wikipedia entry


‘Circus with Heart’: New Circus and NoFit State

‘Circus with Heart’: New Circus and NoFit State
by Jeni Williams lecturer at Trinity College, Carmarthen
Published in New Welsh Review, issue 68, 2005

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18 Aug 2005

Total Theatre Award - runner up



NoFit State Circus have been included on the long-list of 20 performing companies at this years Edinburgh Fringe for a prestigious Total Theatre Award.

The judges include: Chenine Bhathena (Producer), Mary Brennan (Scottish Herald reviewer), Donald Hutera (Times reviewer) and the two artistic Directors of the London International Mime Festival, Helen Lanaghan and Joseph Seelig.

NFS latest production, ImMortal2 has been on a national tour throught the spring and summer of 2005, visiting Barry, Aberystwyth, Colwyn Bay, Bath, Bradford, Cambridge and Manchester before Edinburgh and then opens in London in September for a three week run.

ImMortal2 also tours to Spain at the start of September, to headline at the Tarrega International Performance Festival 9 – 12 September.

A spokesperson for NoFit State Circus said “We are delighted to be included on the Total Theatre Awards Long-list. Last year we won the Theatre in Wales performance award and it would be great to win a prestigious award at this years Edinburgh Fringe Festival”.

The short-list is announced in Edinburgh on August 24th, with the awards ceremony on the morning of August 26th."

August 2005

Three Weeks Editors’ Awards - top ten


6. No Fit State Circus for ‘Immortal2’

Another company utilising an interesting performance space in a very interesting way, No Fit State Circus’ show combines story, music and circus skills to create a truly visual experience. With a show that unfolds around the audience from their arrival in the circus tent’s bar area, this is a fantastically crafted show featuring versatile performers able to tell a story, make some music and then take to the ropes and perform some expert acrobatics. A fantastic show utilising a great space in a much under-used part of the city – a much deserved winner of a ThreeWeeks Editors’ Award.

January 2006

Move into The AnneXe


In 2006, NoFit State moved into the Annexe of Ebenezer Chapel, Charles St. Cardiff.

For the first time, NoFit State had a full time base that included a large rehearsal, training and workshop space, as well as offices, and the company was able to develop its community and education programme from occasional and ad hoc activity into a coherent and on-going programme of work reaching 2,000 participants a year.

The growth of activity within the Annex meant that soon the building no longer held the capacity for the growth expectations of the company, and NoFit State began the search for a permanent Cardiff home.

No Fit State has moved

We are pleased to announce that we have relocated our offices to Ebenezer Church on Charles Street in the Centre of Cardiff.

The exciting bit is that this is a new community circus training facility that we have been able to kit out with trapezes, tightropes, ropes, silks, cloud swing, mats and general circus equipment. This new space is funded by the Arts Council of Wales through the Wales European Funding Organisation ( WEFO)

So now we can run circus classes for all ages and abilities in the evenings and the space will be open for professional training in the day times. We will be setting up a Youth Circus to start training them young. We will run regular classes and we will be running specialist courses in the new year over weekends such as Aerial Skills for Dancers and Gymnasts, whip cracking, knife throwing and lassos.

I am listing the current opportunities below so pass the word around. We are looking for new recruits of all ages so if you have ever fancied running away with the circus or you just want to keep fit and you hate the gym call or e-mail the office to sign up for new classes that start in January. Spaces are limited so sign up soon. Whatever your interest we guarantee quality teaching from the NoFit State professionals.

6.30-8pm Youth Circus for 8-12year olds £3 for taster £30 for ten week term- starts 9th Jan
8-10pm Intermediate Aerial for over 14's must have some experience £4 a class

7pm-8.30pm Beginners Acrobalance over 16's £3 for taster £30 for ten week term- starts 10th Jan
8.30-10pm Acrobalance, Acrobatics, Trampete skillshare (must have some experience) £2

6.30-8pm Youth Circus for 12-16 year olds £3 for taster £30 for ten week term- starts 11th Jan
8-10pm Beginners Trapeze over 14's £4 a session

7-8pm Unicycling training and uni-hockey all ages welcome £1
8-10pm Juggling and manipulation skillshare over14's £2

Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays call us if you want to book a circus workshop for your group.... Youth Groups, Kids parties, Hen nights, Corporate training etc. We can design a workshop for your needs.

email from Ali Williams - Monday, January 02, 2006

24-25 Feb 2006

Splott on the Landscape 2

Community shows

[From the website of The Sherman Theatre]

Daring, Sexy and Wildly Entertaining Comedy Fun with NoFit State!

The internationally renowned, award-winning company NoFit State Circus present a stunning and wildly entertaining Circus Cabaret event, Splott on the Landscape 2 on Friday 24 - Saturday 25 February at The Sherman Theatre, Cardiff.

Splott on the Landscape 2 is the latest project from the only non-animal touring Circus Company based in Wales. Internationally 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 2 will include a mixture of professional performers and highly skilled community performers with ages ranging from 10 to 55. Highlights will include NoFit State Apprenticeship graduate Kevin perform his beautiful aerial ballet to the music of Johnny Cash, the hilarious Splott State Community Circus’ Unicycle Ballet and a particularly spectacular ‘flaming’ finale!

Splott on the Landscape 2 is a fundraiser for the new Cardiff Community training space. This is a fully equipped circus training space open to both professionals and the Cardiff community. NoFit State will be running courses in trapeze, acrobatics, tightrope, juggling, unicycling and general circus skills.

Splott on the Landscape 2 will be at The Sherman Theatre for two nights only on Friday 24 – Saturday 25 February at 7.30pm. More than a regular theatre show, arrive early to see stilts in the street and have fun in the foyer! Tickets are £10 (Reductions £6) and can be booked from the Box Office now on 029 2064 6900.


ImMortal - Seduce, Stun, Survive


Go to Show Page

"2006-2007 will see the third international tour of the award winning production, Immortal, with performances in Wales, Germany, Ireland, Scotland, France and Denmark. This will be NoFit State Circus’ first major international tour and has been achieved without public subsidy. The community and outreach work will continue to develop and output increases in line with the raised company profile. Summer 2006 is already the busiest ever for the workshop teams with many taster workshops booked in community centres and schools and for the first time the company will run a week long residency in its own space."

Autumn 2006

First Circus Futures Conference held in Bristol


Ali Williams and Orit Azaz invited to give a presentation called “Taking Risks”

You can also download a copy of the slide show

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6 Aug 2006

Best Float - Edinburgh Cavalcade


We are pleased to announce that we just won the best float in the Edinburgh Cavalcade ( Lord Mayors parade)
This represents a huge victory as last year the company were removed from the parade by riot police after trying to join the back of the procession without officially entering.
The publicity must have been good as the opening shows at the Fringe were all sold out.

The 2006 Cavalcade took place on Sunday 6 August at 2.30pm.
Well over 100,000 people spectators lined the route. Congratulations to all who took part.

The winners were:

Best Festival Float - No 46 - NoFit State Circus - ImMortal

Another prize for NoFit State

25 November 2006

NoFit State and Meltdown 20th Birthday

Major Collaborations

Listen to Ali Williams and Paul Clarke talking about Meltdown (in Sept 2015)

Meltdown page about the party, organised jointly with NoFit State - lots of pictures.

Paul Clarke – Meltdown co-founder – talks to Ali Williams, No Fit State Circus supremo and joint founder, about their roots in Meltdown and joint Birthday Party at the Point.


Meltdown began in the tiny downstairs bar at Chapter Arts Centre in 1986, and within months a bunch of five wastrels and vagabonds – Ali, Tom, Pete, Richie and Dave Id - styling themselves ‘Balls Up Jugglers’ started using our open stage to fling objects around - clubs, balls, beer glasses, knives ... Tables directly in front of the stage mysteriously emptied - just the odd tumbleweed rolling past. And then, as Meltdown experimented with gigs in the Theatre upstairs, the jugglers mounted unicycles, played with fire, mutated into No Fit State Circus and grew more and more ambitious and deluded. We’ll buy a giant circus tent, they thought. We’ll harness the skills of the whole community for ambitious circus and multi-media spectaculars. We’ll tour the world, to great acclaim, as an insanely innovative and creatively radical circus/theatre collective, winning awards and hearts wherever we go...

And now, 20 years later, we’re sharing a birthday. No Fit State Circus have grown from a bunch of jugglers into an insanely innovative and creatively radical circus/theatre collective who tour the world winning awards and hearts ... etc. Meltdown has expanded exponentially from a bunch of enthusiasts putting on weekly gigs melting down barriers between all forms of music and performance into a bunch of enthusiasts putting on monthly gigs melting down ... Ummm ... You know.

Ali Williams (aka Ali Bi) remembers the early days of No Fit State using innocent Meltdown punters as guinea pigs for their weird and wonderful routines. “I remember Tom dressed up as a tiger jumping through a hoop” she recalls. “We would try out routines at Meltdown before trying them on the public. The stage at Chapter was very small, so it was always a bit kamikaze”. I remind Ali of a particularly scary act - the ‘knife throwing-which-turns-into-juggling routine’ – during which I sat pale faced at the table in front of the stage. “I played Nick Eragua” Ali remembers, “and Dave Id played Uncle Sam throwing knives at me which I caught and threw back”. This was an appropriate political dimension to a hilarious routine as it formed part of a Meltdown benefit to help send Ali to Niceragua – to use her circus skills to bring an element of magic into the lives of children in the war zone.

“Meltdown made an immense contribution both to our development and the growth of the whole Cardiff scene. There were just loads of bands finding a space to play” Ali observes. Her favourites acts included the Howling Sleepers (featuring Chris ‘Cakehole Presley’ Ridgeway), songwriter Sian Donovan and skiffle kings Railroad Bill.

The material developed at Meltdowns – in both the Chapter Bar and the Theatre upstairs – proved a resounding success on the street and in Ali’s words ‘things just grew and grew’. Now No Fit State Circus are acclaimed as the best contemporary circus in the UK and have garnered international recognition including the The Jury Award Tarrega Festival, Spain 2005 and the ‘alternative to Perrier’ TapWater Award at the 2005 Edinburgh Festival. Out of the original 5 founders, two (Ali and Tom) are still at the heart of No Fit State. Community workshops and performances in Cardiff, and the Circus’s apprenticeship scheme, have kept the proportion of local participants high, but performers and collaborators now include acts from across the UK and beyond – including, in this years ImMortal production: Finland, Spain, France, Australia, and Austria.

And so on Saturday November 25th 2006 at the Point , these two amazing South Wales cultural forces combine for an explosive gig celebrating their joint spirit of experiment, their roots in the community, and the astonishing talents they’ve both harnessed and supported over the years. “ We’re really pleased to be able to share with Cardiff audiences some of the amazing acts we’ve toured the world with” Ali observed. No Fit State stars past and present, including Bryony Black, Queen of the hula hoops, Aerialist D’Angle; Simon Deville Tightrope walker, Dangerous Duo featuring Ali Bi and ‘Splott Brother’ Dave Id; and other Magicians, Jugglers, Stiltwalkers etc will rub shoulders with Meltdown proteges from different genres and generations. Sian Evans - the voice of dance mega-band Kosheen, Internationally renowned folk singer-songsmith Julie Murphy, acclaimed angular-indie quartet the Victorian English Gentlemen’s Club, will share the stage with local legends such as Chris Ridgeway and Captain Paranoid. And many major names and ‘new generation’ talents are still to be confirmed - all having in common the experience – like No Fit State - of using the Meltdown stage to learn their craft, experiment, collaborate and find an audience.
Paul Clarke

Details of the Party:

Circus will include:
Briony Black (hula-hoops) + Simon Deville (tightrope) + D’Angle (aerialists) + Circ-U (Aerial hoop) + Dave Id (Splott Brother) + magicians, acrobats, jugglers etc.

Music will include
Sian (Kosheen) Evans + Victorian English Gentlemen’s Club + Fernhill feat Julie Murphy + Howling Sleepers (Yes, the Howling Sleepers are reforming specially for this gig!) + Cakehole Presley + + Captain Paranoid and the Delusions (co-fronted by Sal from the Physicists!) + SILD + Naughty + brief spots from Lady Reality & CF11, Railroad Bill, River Ghosts

Time: 7.30pm till 2am+
Venue: The Point, Cardiff Bay (watch out for spatial-temporal rifts)

More Press on No Fit State Circus
“Twenty years on the road, the Cardiff-based outfit continues a radical rethink of traditional circus activities, with not an animal, wild or domestic thankfully in sight ... the sheer variety of the skills, talents and athleticism displayed ... includes trapeze, fire-eating, tumbling, juggling, bungee stunts, tightrope walking, whip cracking, acrobatics, mock fights, stilt walking, gymnastics, aerial ballet and what a girl achieves with hula hoops proves a genuine showstopper” The Stage

“Less of a show - more of an experience that will stay with you forever”” Bath Chronicle

“A no holds barred show, fusing circus, dance, music, theatre and audio-visual” Vanity Fair

“The future of British Circus” The Guardian

Winter 2006

Hitchhikers' Guide to NoFit State

Company business

This paper, issued for new members, offers a nice snapshot of backstage life with the touring circus.

Download ➝
21 June to 5 August.2007

Circus Front


"The Roundhouse launches its biennial Circus Front season this week. Four international contemporary circus companies (France’s Collectif AOC, Morocco’s Collectif Acrobatique de Tangier, Australia’s Acrobat and the UK’s Nofit State Circus) will be joined by stranger performers – such as the Fire Tusk Pain Proof Circus – doing late night shows, plus sideshow installations, films and talks until early August."

Review in the Observer

It's still the greatest show on earth
Kate Kellaway
Sunday 24 June 2007 00.02 BST

"New wave circus performance" from Time Out.



7 Dec 2007

Community Circus Cabaret

Community shows
12 Dec 2007

Youth Circus cabaret

Community shows