Tabu Review

Rating (out of 5)
Show info
Nofit State Circus
Firenza Guidi (director, writer), Tom Rack (producer, tour manager), Peter Swaffer Reynolds (music and lyrics), Tarn Aitken (Chief Rigger), Sandro Spanu (Second Rigger), Ali Williams (co-producer), Tim Adam (operations manager), Zoë Munn (assistant producer), Firenza Guidi, Tom Rack, Ali Williams (creative team), Rhiannon Matthews (costume designer), Aöalsteinn Stefánsson (original lighting designer), Leif le Page (2010 relight), Chris Nurse, Lissy Moore (video)
Tania Cervantes Chamorro, Adie Delaney, Petri Ekqvist, Foucauld Falguerolles, Natalia Fandiño, Vanina Fandiño, Marco Fiera, Kadja Karjalainen, Marcella Manzilli, Howard Morley, Simone Riccio, Tanwen Watson (performers); Chris Cundy, Freemoore, Gareth Jones, Dylan Leonard (musicians)
Running time

Founded in 1986, nofitstate is a Welsh company with a cast of international and homegrown performers. It is the leading UK contemporary circus company, having won awards and gained cult status on the European circus circuit, and is back on the Fringe after headlining at the Montréal International Circus Festival.

The promenade audience of the performance of Tabu, I Will be Bad is greeted with bird song and hurdy-gurdy accordion, with strolling players and performers casually moving through the crowd, setting the tone for the direct interaction that continues throughout this breathtaking show.

There is a sense of chaos and anarchy as the acts start to appear out of shadows to the sound of the atmospheric live music which is fine entertainment in its own right. (I am listening to the CD as I write!) Your eyes have to be everywhere to catch all the beautiful and surprising action that happens seamlessly around you, along with the video installation that echoes, but does not mirror the centre stage performance.

The theme of the show is fear. Director Firenza Guidi says, “What is fear – if it’s the very thing that keeps you alive?” This troupe is cool, relaxed, sensuous, full of fun and madness and very much alive. Their understated costumes have subtle panache that do not outshine their physical talent. Not for them the pizzazz of shiny, sparkly lycra - they are magical enough without it. Instead, they have Vanina Fandiño doing her high heeled tightrope walk, Natalia Fandiño with her ball gown trapeze and Foucauld Falguerolles, a graceful climber who ascends the Chinese pole easily as stairs in a trilby hat.

There is drama, clowning and non-stop action on and off centre stage in this mouth-gaping, unforgettable circus that is full of highly talented individuals who work fantastically well as a team.

This is circus of another age and of now. Just fabulous.

Show times
4 – 30 August

Ticket prices
£12.50, £14, £18

Read Dylan Matthew's review of Tabu