Welcome to The Sprout! Please sign up or login

Review: Bianco @ WMC

Posted by Jeff the Fridge from Cardiff - Published on 02/05/2013 at 11:11
3 comments » - Tagged as Art, Dance, Stage, Sport & Leisure


NoFit State Circus: Bianco
Wales Millennium Centre
Wednesday 1st May 2013

I’ve never been to see a circus. I’ve always wondered if they’re like they are in the films or if they’re something completely different. Anyway, done with that opening tangent and on to the other one I had planned.

Once a week, I used to go to a gymnastics troupe about 2-3 years ago. It was fun, but no one appreciated me being able to do a somersault or jump from higher bar to lower bar since I could barely kick a football or execute a rugby tackle. I liked to see myself as being one of the people who stars in Bianco, the latest show by NoFit State Circus. But, y’know, teenage laziness, so I’ve ended being a reviewer for the internet instead of a superstar acrobat.

Mind you, if I hadn’t become a reviewer, I probably wouldn’t have gone to see Bianco. And that would have been a very bad thing, because Bianco is something not to be missed.

When you first walk into the WMC to go see Bianco, you’ll instantly be surprised when you’re signalled to go outside instead of the usual seating. You see, Bianco takes place on the main stage of the WMC, but requires the audience to take a 360 degrees view of the spectacle. You’ll walk in to find a strange scaffold sitting in the middle of the stage. This is where my first complaint occurs. Sometimes, the curtain will draw up so you can see the chairs with somebody sitting there, but it’s never explained why this is happening or who these people are, just adding to the confusion.

Also, you’ll roughly only be able to see 90 degrees of the play, which is usually large enough to see everything, but sometimes you’ll have to move your head in all directions to take everything in. Whilst someone might be swinging around centre stage, someone might be hula-hooping behind you, meaning you can only focus on one at a time. I mean, it’s like I should go back on a different night to see things I couldn’t see from my point of view. I’ll just have to go every night to see it from all possible angles, spending a whole, wait, hold on a second...

There’s also a huge lack of story. It’s nonsensical at best and incomprehensible at worst. There’s something about a sleeping circus troupe, something about someone finding a new home and something about someone running out of fuel in the middle nowhere. It’s kind of confusing and doesn’t flow together at all. But you’re not going to see Bianco for the story; you’re going for the acrobats, which are incredibly impressive. There are people bouncing off trampolines, twisting around in floating rings held up by dark ropes and leaping from scaffold to scaffold. It’s jaw dropping, especially with the seeming lack of protection such as harnesses or safety mats. It makes everything else seem much more dangerous, being entirely worth the rapturous applause given to it after each act.

Another problem I have is largely due to my size. If you’re tall, then skip right over this section. You see, I’m quite short (just over 1.5m) and most of the audience were roughly 10 cm taller than me. This meant that I could rarely see anything that happened on the floor, but thankfully everything takes place in the air, which slowly gave me a crick in my neck after looking up for nearly two hours straight.

These are both minor complaints, nothing that ruins the deal, but I don’t want people complaining because I didn’t warn them. You’re also required to walk around quite a lot to get out of the way of moving set, slowly leading to my legs going numb. The constant movement also led to getting squished into small spaces with lots of people, but this wasn’t really the fault of the show, more a fault of its popularity. There are also a few scenes where people speak French, which is a bit jarring, and also leads to confusion since I had no idea what they were saying. If you speak French, good for you, and help everyone out by explaining what’s going on.

The band also deserves commendation, being able to play a wide variety of songs with distinctively different styles, each evoking different emotions such as sadness or jollity. They keep the pace brisk and keep to the style of each piece. They also each play different instruments, some people playing drums, some on piano, some double bass, even some trumpet, it’s all here. They also do all the vocal work, save for one of the girls, which could easily have been pre-recorded, but it’s a nice touch that it’s live. I’d also advise everyone to buy the programme. I usually wouldn’t do this, but the programme contains a nice detailed version of the story (which just confused me even more) but also lets you know the name of each of the different acts that each of the acrobats did. It’s nice to read up on, and is a pretty good use of three quid.

Bianco is an incredible spectacle to see, but doesn’t really have a substantial story. If you suffer from serious leg or neck ache, or have an irrational fear of being too close to people, Bianco won’t be your cup of tea. For everyone else, Bianco is fantastic, and I’d highly advise everyone to head down to the WMC to go see it; you won’t be disappointed.

Bianco is at the Wales Millennium Centre till Saturday 4th May 2013

Organisations Â» NoFit State Circus - Youth Circus & Circus Training

Events Â» NoFit State Circus Training Classes – Drop-in Sessions

Info Â» Sport & Leisure Â» Performing Arts Â» Circus Skills

Events Â» May 2013's Sprout Editorial Group Meeting

Events Â» NoFitState Circus presents: Bianco

Articles Â» Categories Â» Stage

Related Article: The Importance Of NoFit State Youth Circus

3 CommentsPost a comment

Weeping Tudor

Weeping Tudor

Commented 36 months ago - 3rd May 2013 - 13:34pm

A remarkable show. There is no excuse not to see it. To think I'm invoked with a circus piece for next year. Watch this space...



Commented 36 months ago - 3rd May 2013 - 16:50pm

@WeepingTudor Money is an excellent reason to not see something, no matter how much you'd like to!

Weeping Tudor

Weeping Tudor

Commented 36 months ago - 5th May 2013 - 01:35am

There is no excuse not to see it.

Got something to say?

You must be logged in to post comments on this website.

Login or Register.

Please take a few minutes to complete this survey. It will help us find out how you use the website so we can keep improving it for you. Everyone who completes the survey will get the chance to win £50.