Bianco: NoFit State Circus

Spotlight UK Circus is led by NoFit State Circus and Crying Out Loud and funded by the Arts Council England International Showcasing fund.

The initiative comes at a time when contemporary circus in the United Kingdom (UK) is at a critical stage of development. Over the past 30 years the art-form has embedded itself in our cultural life, and in the past decade there has been a huge surge in the quantity and quality of work produced here. There is now a body of companies primed to make the next step into the international touring arena.

Through Spotlight UK Circus up to 10 of the best UK based circus artists will be offered the opportunity to present their work at three key international festivals: CIRCa festival du cirque actuel 20 – 29 October 2017; Subcase Subtopia Circus Fair 14 – 17 November 2017 and at The Circus Village, Festival OFF d’Avignon 6 – 29 July 2018.

The showcase aims to raise the profile of UK contemporary circus on the international scene, increase the capacity and ability of UK companies to promote themselves and tour internationally, and develop and support a new network of touring contemporary circus companies.

Audiences will have the chance to see exciting creations from Wales, England and Northern Ireland, and selected artists will be able to make connections with potential international partners, and benefit from bespoke mentoring and support from either NoFit State Circus or Crying Out Loud. Presenting work in a new context will also provide a chance for artists to challenge their own practice with a positive impact on artistic content and development.

NoFit State is driven by a passion for the work it creates and the impact it has on the people it reaches. Created 30 years ago, NoFit State is the largest international touring circus company within the national portfolio. The Company has performed extensively abroad and several times at CIRCa and OFF Avignon. Over the last 3 decades it has successfully developed new markets for its work across the world. At home in Cardiff, NoFit State provides training and creation space, mentoring and funding advice to around 12 circus companies each year as well as being part of the circus creation places network Up and Out.

As a pioneering creative producer, Crying Out Loud nurtures extraordinary artists working in visual theatre – often in the fields of circus, physical theatre and installation. Since 2002, Crying Out Loud has presented exceptional events for audiences of all ages and abilities at festivals, in venues and site specific locations in the UK and Europe. The company is a network leader in the UK and advocates for artists and contemporary visual theatre by making connections and initiating collaborations. Crying Out Loud has 4 strategic aims under its priority area of talent development and international exchange. These are: to support artists/companies it thinks have potential to benefit from specialist advice and input and with whom the Company is interested in working with in the longer term; to enable artists to develop their work, nationally and internationally through platforms, exchanges and residencies in partnership with other organisations and to work strategically across the sector through proactive engagement in national and international networks and events.

Spotlight UK Circus est une initiative de NoFit State Circus et de Crying Out Loud financée par le Arts Council England International Showcasing fund. Cette initiative a lieu à un moment crucial de l’histoire du cirque contemporain au Royaume-Uni. Au cours des 30 dernières années, le cirque contemporain s’est installé au cœur de la vie culturelle ; et depuis une dizaine d’années le nombre et la qualité des spectacles produits au Royaume-Uni a augmenté. Il y a désormais tout un groupe d’artistes et de compagnies prêts à franchir le cap, et à se présenter sur la scène internationale. Grâce à Spotlight UK Circus, jusqu’à une dizaine de compagnies basées au Royaume-Uni auront la chance de présenter leur travail à l’un des trois festivals suivants : CIRCa festival du cirque actuel à Auch en France (20 – 29 octobre 2017), Subcase Subtopia Circus Fair à Stockholm en Suède (14 – 17 novembre 2017) et Festival OFF d’Avignon (juillet 2018). Le showcase a pour ambition de mettre sur le devant de la scène internationale le cirque contemporain britannique et de donner aux artistes et compagnies britanniques les outils pour mieux se promouvoir et faciliter leur insertion sur le marché international. Les spectateurs auront l’opportunité de découvrir ce qui se fait de mieux en terme de création contemporaine de cirque au Royaume-Uni ; les artistes sélectionnés pourront aller à la rencontre de partenaires internationaux tout en bénéficiant de l’accompagnement de NoFit State et de Crying Out Loud, leurs pratiques artistiques seront nourries par un rapprochement avec des artistes internationaux.


From the partners

  • ‘Thanks to this collaboration between CIRCa, NoFit State Circus and Crying Out Loud, British circus will be present at the 30th edition of the CIRCa festival du cirque actuel, which showcases the upcoming circus trends every year in Auch. For the past 10 years, there has been an exceptional renewal of the art form in Europe. We are proud to present the best contemporary artists, those who speak the universal language of contemporary circus, whose work is not defined by borders.’

    Marc Fouilland, CIRCa Director
  • ‘As one of the UK’s leading contemporary circus companies, celebrating our 30th anniversary this year, we feel that we have an important role to play within the UK sector in inspiring, nurturing and facilitating the creation and circulation of great circus. NoFit State has always encouraged and supported the development of new talents at home and to now take fresh and exciting UK work into the world to international platforms is a seriously exciting prospect.’


    Tom Rack, Artistic Director NoFit State Circus
  • ‘Subcase is an annual showcase of contemporary circus presenting mostly Nordic work. It’s a perfect opportunity to rub shoulders in a more personal and intimate way with international presenters and Nordic circus artists, in order to find new markets and co-producers as well as to exchange knowledge and experiences. The attending presenters are mostly from Europe, US and Canada but also some from Asia and South America.’

    Kiki Muukkonen, Artistic Programming Director Subcase
  • ‘Spotlight UK Circus is an excellent new opportunity for UK based circus artists to improve their financial resilience and develop professionally by performing their work overseas on new platforms. Crying Out Loud has been forging international partnerships for 14 years and is delighted to join forces with NoFit State and are hugely grateful to Arts Council England who initiated the International Showcasing fund.’

    Rachel Clare, Artistic Director Crying Out Loud

©NoFit State Circus and Crying Out Loud