LucyLovesCircus

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Chapter 62: NOODLES




Photo: Sean Purser (www.officiallondontheatre.co.uk)
And now for something completely different. NoFit State's Flying Noodles Circus. An evening of pure, unadulterated, gratuitous FUN. Noodles is a bonkers riot of laughter and colour to blast away the January blues, stuffed with slapstick tricks and circus treats.  We walked out on a high and my heart is still grinning like a Cheshire Cat. 

A stage-hand, *Miguel, walks on in a blue boiler-suit, adjusting the lights, tripping over, comically apologetic. Visions of canary yellow and loud pink descend the stairs at either side babbling, or babeling?, away in their native Spanish and Italian. Rays of linguistic sunshine, such intrinsically happy languages, they chivvy the audience along and clown around. *Zenaida and *Cristina then are the self-styled Mediterranean "Brownies" to the pair of Scandinavian "Blondies", *Lisa and *Klara, dressed in emerald green and royal blue. Seeing them all lined up at the beginning swapping round colour-coordinating handbags, well, it's like a Kate Spade shop meets Pedro Almódovar.


And then we come to the noodles. Noodles that are are chewed like gum, slurped like spaghetti and pulled out from underwear like wayward knicker elastic. They are made into bow-ties and animals, wigs and beards, used to fashion Madonnas and Monroes - the skies the limit ... and then it rains more  noodles! In a surreal cookery programme pots and pans, and bras, catch fire, water is squirted, flour is farted, nothing is sacred and everything is liberated. It was physical clowning par excellence, the likes of which I haven't enjoyed since Jorge Costa and Julia Muzio from Argentina at the CASA festival last year (see Clowning around and The School of Hard Knocks).

The aerial apparatus are noodle-like ropes, multiple cloud swings on pulleys so that the weight of the performers counter-balanced each other, and silks made of hundreds of fine strands. On occasion they have a life of their own, slipping just out of reach of the caretaker as he attempts to put them away, while obeying a masterful click of a girl's fingers. The aerial sequences themselves were an uplifting array of swirling colours and sheer beauty. I could have watched them for hours. Twisting and turning bodies that speak of strength and fearless grace. And funny with it, no mean feat. The friend I went with, who has herself done a fair few turns as a stand-up comedian, brave lady, totally agreed. 

There were wonderful turns on the tight-wire, which struck a chord after our four classes on it at Circus Space this term, although in my case the comedy wasn't exactly intentional. The flexibility, speed and the jumps executed with razor-sharp precision were exciting to watch, and Marilyn flapping around trying to make her skirt behave seemed like a parody of the sexy siren in red heels I had so loved in NoFit State's "Bianco" show a few years back. The signature hand-balancing act from the posters was another class act, maintaining her balance under a barrage of noodles.

The show is given magic touch from Miguel whose sleight-of-hand tricks involve multiplying raw eggs like amoeba, puffing smoke rings from a noodle-cum-hookah in an armchair of a wheelbarrow and apparating a bottle of red wine out of nowhere (please, teach me that one!) - he just made us laugh. At the end of the day, for us Noodles was warming comfort food, pure and simple, that slipped down easily and left us utterly satisfied. As we walked outside the snow was tipping down. Noodle-dust. Surreal.




*CAST:

Aerial Ropes and Clown: Cristina Geninazzi       
Aerial Ropes and Tightwire: Klara Mosseberg 
Aerial Ropes and Hand-Balance: Lisa Engberg
Magic and Noodles Manipulation: Miguel Muñoz Segura
Aerial Ropes and Clown: Zenaida Alcalde

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