47640.89192.image[1]As its title implies, the palette of Bianco is white. White scaffolding, white outfits, white ropes and white snow. There is much to enjoy within this pallid setting; it’s often beautiful and inventive and occasionally seizes your heart. The show takes a fair while to warm up, then it cools off a bit, then has more remarkable moments and finally culminates in a flurry of wonder; and in true NoFitState style, they literally keep us on our feet as the action happens around, above and behind us. There may be a narrative going on, but the obscure voiceovers don’t really help us follow it, so the show feels more like a series of solos and ensemble pieces within a strange, stark, ashen world. The tone shifts throughout, sometimes chaotic, sometimes subtle, sometimes elegant. I was particularly struck by the flying cyr wheel alongside aerial hoops, the beaded boxes, Ariele Ebacher’s cool, aloof tightrope routine and August Dakteris’ superhero-on-straps sequence. Most engaging was the aerial duo between Freya Watson and Lyndall Merry; set on an awkwardly shifting rectangular frame, they found real moments of connection and humanity. Their mood morphed into some rather fun, anarchically swinging ceiling lights, before the genuinely enchanting snowy finale. Unfortunately, the transitions are rather long and don’t really transform the space enough to justify the time they take. The focus is strangely patchy, the floor work lost for those not at the front and we don’t really gain much insight by promenading. These are niggles, I remain a great fan of NoFit State (Barricade in Theatre Square was one of my finest bookings); Bianco is a great reminder of how they redefined and advanced the perception of circus in the UK and in their moments of brilliance and joyfulness, they still make us gasp with awe and smile with pleasure.

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