NoFit State is a circus company with serious personality.
Watching these lawless performers hang from silks, clamber up ropes and swing
above the audience is like watching something from a riotous underworld. And
indeed, the show is imbued with the ecstatic, frenzied energy that might
characterise a demonic ritual. However, perhaps this is the major issue with
Bianco is an amazing spectacle and there is much to admire in NoFit State’s joyful, debauched performance.
The physical feats performed by the company are frequently astonishing and imaginative. The first half showcases amazing individual talent but it is also clear what a strong collaborative force NoFit State is. The second half, however, starts to feel a little repetitive. The show runs at two and a half hours but that could certainly be streamlined by cutting down the amount of aerial work in its various but similar guises. Perhaps this has been included due to necessity; much of the floor work is obscured by a standing view. Unless you are at the front of the pack, anything below head-height is ruled out.
Watching Bianco is not an altogether comfortable experience. The show has not been choreographed to give the impression of polish, but appears raw, frenetic and ragtag. This is what makes it so interesting, but it also creates a distinct sense of unease. The boundaries of physical possibilities are pushed to their outer limits and due to this, mistakes do occasionally creep in. When this happens – the dropping of a juggling ball, or a fall from a tightrope, for example – the audience is prevented from totally immersing themselves in the spectacle. It creates a feeling of insecurity which is difficult to shake. Bianco is certainly heart-in-mouth viewing, but having your breath taken away is strenuous if you never have time to catch it again.
Bianco is an amazing spectacle and there is much to admire in NoFit State’s joyful, debauched performance (not least the excellent live band which accompanies the action). The show creates an atmosphere of dark, hedonistic festivity but ultimately it fails to truly dazzle as it expects too much of its audience.