Performing arts review: No Fit State (circus): Bianco
Roundhouse, Chalk Farm Road, London, NW1 8EH
Roundhouse, Camden – map
Performance review date: Tuesday 9 April 2013
Performance run: 6-27 April 2013
Rating: *1/2 (ie 1.5 out of 5)
If you’re looking for an industrial-feeling show of acrobatics that represents “Urban Britain” and fits in well (ironically?) with the dark and high-rise landscape and atmosphere of Camden, then look no further than the current run of No Fit State‘s Bianco at the Roundhouse. The troupe of performers who do many acrobatics above your head at the Roundhouse get hats tipped to them for doing their best – and at times, the show, which incorporates a lot of people in various outfits (the long flowing dresses, suspenders and trousers and corsets and other flowing things being the most fun to be seen flowing through the air), is touching, alive, clever and unique.
But, unfortunately, a lot of the time it feels like you have people swinging above your heads and they don’t care much about what they are doing. I realise that they don’t intend this, but the show seems very loosely put together and there is not much personality to it. The best part of the show is that the Roundhouse looks fantastic in the lighting and it is a huge and lovely venue to spend time in and the music of the show puts you into a relaxed state.
Bianco, at times, is fun to watch what is going on, but for £20+/ticket and without much direction in the show, No Fit State’s current offering is a waste of time and money. One viewer of the show who has seen many of their shows said, “No Fit State’s other shows had a lot of emotion. They were unique and made you laugh and cry. This one, I don’t know. There is no life in it. What happened? I don’t know.”
Some people don’t like Cirque du Soleil, but their last show was actually a lot of fun. At the same price, it was more value and fun for money – and the Royal Albert Hall is also a great venue, particularly when there is a lively show on. No Fit State has great posters for the show and at times they make you laugh and smile at some of the stunts they perform (such as a snorkelling act) but overall it needs structure and choreography to it. With a lot of circuses coming and going, it is easy to see people on trapezes swinging over your head. What exactly they are doing on the trapezes will make you remember whether you want to come back and see (and trust) their next show or not. Not worth the money, but at least half the time they are trying hard to do something. What? Nobody really seems to know.