Roundhouse, London – until 18 January 2020
Lexicon from No Fit State is a circus show that opens with a row of antiquated school desks set out on the stage – but no sooner have this talented company appeared then the desks, complete with their riotous pupils are hoisted aloft, soaring into The Roundhouse’s cavernous space.
The desks may be Hogwarts, but there’s no fancy CGI that makes this furniture fly. This is classic steampunk, with the flying and stunning visuals of the evening created simply by pure human talent. Skills that show a mastery of strength, agility, and precisely rehearsed movements, defying gravity amidst a flurry of lights, ropes and counterbalancing performers who rise and fall alongside the the shows steel frame.
Traditional circus but with a defiantly modern, cutting edge, Lexicon’s live music sets a stunning pulse to the evening, with a backing that ranges from folk, to rock to balladry. And the acts are just so imaginative, this is circus without any boring bits. The clowning is crazy, the fire play fabulous and the high wire and aerial work, breathtaking. Imaginatively and simply costumed throughout, as a Double Rope artist sheds her gown from aloft (no nudity at all) the show also defines itself as provocatively, if subtly, sexual too.
Lexicon’s final act sees a gothic human mobile – think of the toy suspended over a baby’s cot – only magnified x 100 to human proportions. The imagery and the effect are unforgettable.
And it is that combination of visual extravagance alongside ingenious subtlety that makes this an event for all ages and outstanding entertainment.