Review: ★★★★★ Lexicon, Roundhouse

Review: ★★★★★ Lexicon, Roundhouse

The circus: it transcends language and is accessible for all. With the seering popularity of companies like Cirque Du Soleil, Welsh company NoFit State use the perfectly fitting venue of the Roundhouse to present their circus offering of Lexicon: a fusion of poetry, music and tricks.

What works well for NoFit State is the thematic nature of their output. Lexicon begins with a school room scene, that slowly dismantles to allow for its characters to showcase their art form, such as Sam Goodburn ‘the school geek’ breaking out into unicycle routines – Goodburn being one of the comedic highlights of the production. As the classroom is pulled apart, its as if the other themes derive from the school children’s imaginations or their subsequent pranks; David Murray’s original music bringing synergy and atmosphere to the piece as a whole.

There is a lot of traditional circus acts on display, but with the added touch of heart stopping tricks, which are further augmented by the musicianship and lighting. One particular callout moment is Ellis Grover managing to sit on a chair that has two of its legs balancing on a tightrope, which needs to be seen to be believed; but not all tricks come off. However, the ‘mistakes’ appear intentional, and are turned into comedic value by the cast of characters. Subsequently, when there is minimal safety mechanisms utilised throughout; these ‘mistakes’ are quickly forgotten about, as the comedy is balanced out with shock and awe.

Alongside NoFit State’s talent, what amplifies them as a company is the characters the individual performers make for their acts, and that certain members double up both as musicians and performers. As previously mentioned, Goodburn inhabits ‘the geeky guy’ from school, with Rosa-Maria Autio as the ‘mischievous’ child with her foot juggling and skipping ropes talents and Rosa-Marie Schmid becoming almost balletic in her stunning double ropes routine.

Honourable mentions must go to Firenza Guidi for engineering the group scenes to run so seamlessly and to Jean-Marie Prouvèze’s lighting – which works with the performers and musicians to help with scene transitions, as well as creating beautiful cinematic effects with excerpts like Katleen Ravoet’s hand balancing routine.

As circus is rising in popularity, and we’re looking for more different experiences to share with friends and family: NoFit State does an excellent job at creating a breathtaking experience that is enjoyable for all.

Niamh Flynn

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