About

NoFit State was founded in 1986 by five friends. During a politically charged time, in a recession, and as a creative reaction to the world around them, the circus was born.

ordinary people doing extraordinary things...

Thirty years since its humble beginnings, NoFit State still believes that the total outweighs the sum of the parts. The company lives together, works together, eats together, laughs and cries together – travelling in trucks, trailers and caravans and living and breathing as one community. This is what creates the spirit that is NoFit State and gives the work its heart and soul.

Contemporary circus combines live music, dance, stage design, text, and film with traditional circus skills. It is rooted in the travelling community who turn up, pitch a tent, drum up an audience, and then leave with only flattened grass and a memory to show they were ever there. The circus are the strangers who live amongst us – and if we run away to join them we are throwing off our inhibitions, our conventions, the rules of settled society. We are taking to the road knowing that there is no destination - only a journey.

Today, NoFit State is the UK’s leading large-scale contemporary circus company, producing professional touring productions and a wide variety of community, training, and education projects for people of all ages. Over the last ten years NoFit State's touring productions have visited 19 different countries, played to audiences of over 460,000, as well as receiving critical acclaim and winning numerous prestigious international arts awards.

Artistic Policy

We celebrate the contradictions within ourselves and our work. We create beautiful carnage and organised anarchy. We endeavour to be seriously exciting and classically fresh.

We work in partnership with a diverse range of creative collaborators to bring new momentum and fresh direction to our work.

Our work extends beyond the traditional circus form and embraces all other physical disciplines and performance arts. We believe that circus does not need to be legitimised, explained or excused with narrative or metaphor within the performance.

We strive to be artistic innovators and to develop radical and accessible work that has a sophisticated simplicity. We embrace the financial imperative to play to large audiences, this inspires us to create work on a range of scales within a variety of venues both indoors and out. Our work has a socio-political relevance, context and meaning, is progressive and alternative, yet it is still accessible for a mainstream market.

We challenge the public perception of what circus is, who it is for, and what it can be. We seek new diverse audiences and take our work to the heart of the community.

The fusion of original music and the movement vocabulary of circus is the expressive form at the core of our work and we use this form to carry the emotional content or dramaturgy of the piece. We focus on the humanity of the circus artists and through a devised process, by treating them holistically we develop an ensemble company with individual performance personas.

Our design aesthetic treats rigging, technical, structure and scenography as one overall installation which creates an environment for the performers to inhabit and the audience to explore.

Circus is not just an art form it is a way of life. Consequently our cultural policy and artistic vision are fundamentally linked. We believe it is the spirit of a company that works together, lives together, travels together, eats and breathes together gives the work a heart and soul.

We actively engage with communities and offer opportunities for participation and training at all levels.