Time flies when you’re having fun…Oh I do like a good cliché, but it’s true. It was the end of February when I ran away with the circus and it feels like I only left yesterday. With an unexpected afternoon off I thought I’d better write this as things are about to get crazy busy. I’m currently living in a truck in the centre of Cardiff where I’ve been busy rehearsing and developing a brand new show with NoFit State Circus that will be touring the UK this summer. I’ve been getting to grips with singing in Hungarian, drumming in Japanese and remembering how to play trumpet again.
In the first 2 weeks, the band learned and arranged the 32+ tunes Gareth Jones, our musical director, composed specifically for the show. In the last 2 weeks we’ve been at an incredibly dusty and dry rehearsal room at the WMC trying out our music with the rest of the company, matching our collection of sounds with the various acts.
The show opens at the Roundhouse on the 6th April and it’s on track but not quite finished. It is written, not on paper, but in the mind of Firenza Guidi, our eccentric genius director who shouts and waves her hands a lot. She has a vision, and we make it real. The individual parts are there in a series of constantly evolving solo and ensemble acts waiting to be put together according to her dreams, which usually happen in real time. It’s a bit like trying to complete a shape shifting jigsaw made of jelly on top of a washing machine on full spin whilst making sure said machine is strapped down properly as you don’t want to get everyone covered in jelly.
‘Good! Now can we make the jelly fly?’
The show consists of a super talented cast, gracefully performing gravity defying feats of athletic wonder on a constantly moving set of trapezes, trampolines, tightropes, ropes, hoops, scaffolding, sinks, balls and doughnuts. So you can imagine there’s a lot to think about. There’s a fine line between pushing the boundaries of creative expression whilst making sure it’s safe for everyone involved, including the audience who are standing and moving around the performers throughout the the show. The finished product may look manic and chaotic but everything is painstakingly planned, broken, fixed, bodged, re-planned and strapped to the floor and told to behave. This nessicary process is slow and tiring, however, it does gives us plenty of time to come up with a killer soundtrack. And make coffee. Lots of coffee.
It’s hard being away from home for so long but wait till you see what we’ve been up to! With a massive team of performers, musicians, sound, set and costume designers, welders, riggers, scran makers, producers and promoters, it is an animal that changes daily, feeding from our collective creative input to form a 2 hour beast of a show. With just 2 weeks till opening night (which is already sold out) we have the end, beginning and middle of the first half and it is already pretty spectacular. So, If you live near any of the stops on our tour, or if you don’t and your really keen, then I thoroughly recommend this show to everyone. This monster lives.