- Date: 19 July 2012
- Area: Midlands
No Fit State Circus. Credit: Louisa Griffiths
Nofit State Circus, which is based in Cardiff but tours the UK, started to receive regular funding from Arts Council England this year.
They became a National portfolio organisation (NPO) in April and in the last few months have performed in Wales, England and France. In the West Midlands they performed at Newcastle under Lyme in May and on 14 July took part in Lichfield Festival.
Alison Woods, their Executive Director, comments: "Nofit State is delighted that as a result of NPO support from Arts Council England the company is able to expand its programme of performances in the West Midlands - and in particular bringing Barricade to Newcastle under Lyme."
Barricade is a spectacular open air show which started touring in 2011 in France and England.
Last year they celebrated their 25th anniversary with an acclaimed show at the Eden Project in Cornwall.
The company, which is now the largest contemporary circus company in the UK, began in 1986 when a group of five friends got together to juggle and party. Two of the original founders are still with the company. They are Ali Williams and Tom Rack, the two creative directors. Their growth has been steady with touring work in Wales, the UK and Europe.
Their mission is 'to be the circus that everyone wants to join' and their performances range from parks, streets, large venues to touring shows in their big top or on two flat-bed lorries which convert into a stage. They also have an extensive education and community reach programme.
NoFit's contribution to community and professional training in circus skills is enormous.
As well as running training sessions and summer schools at their premises in Cardiff they go out on the road and visit schools, community venues and even prisons. Each year they cater for around 19,000 people of all ages through their outreach programmes. They also work with people with physical disabilities. They have an active youth circus.
One of their biggest ambitions is to develop their apprenticeship scheme from a project based to a year round programme. This will be a major development strand made possible by NPO status and funding from Arts Council England.
For more information visit the no fit state website