Saturday, July 16, 2011 - 14:32

Breath-taking balancing acts, surreal dance routines and a man spinning in a giant wheel thrilled hundreds of spectators as NoFit State Circus came to St Austell town centre today (Saturday, July 16).

The spectacular show in White River Place’s Aylmer Square was the finale of a colourful parade led by the contemporary circus company who are staging their exciting new production, Labyrinth, at the Eden Project later this month.

Earlier in the day the performers got people in the town centre juggling, Diablo and hula hooping with free circus skills workshops.

They were joined by Indian-style bhangra drumming group the Dhol Foundation who led percussion lessons and provided music for the parade.

The event was part of St Austell Live hosted by the Eden Project and part of Cornwall Council’s Eco-communities Programme of Development.

Emma Mansfield, St Austell Live programme co-ordinator, said: "It was a wonderful day which built and built and by the end of the parade we had about 500 people in the square. NoFit State Circus and the Dhol Foundation made the town come alive with their passion and energy."

The day’s activities are a taster of things to come at Eden this summer holiday when NoFit State Circus will reveal to visitors some big top tricks of the trade.

From Saturday, July 23, the team behind the spectacular evening show Labyrinth will be putting on daytime circus workshops where beginners can try out hula hooping, juggling and Diablo among other weird and wonderful skills. These drop-in sessions are included in the price of admission and take place every day in the Arena’s Circus Tent at 11:30am, 1:30pm and 3:30pm as well as 5:30pm on evening openings.

Once participants have mastered the basics they can challenge themselves to more complicated tricks such as unicycling, slack wiring and tightrope walking in the Wild Cornwall area from 3pm to 5pm daily. Some of these workshops may involve a small charge.

Aside from workshops, NoFit State performers will be mesmerising visitors with gravity-defying displays and beautiful choreography in different locations around Eden every afternoon, along with a few surprise appearances for added excitement.

The daytime activities will complement Eden’s 10th anniversary evening show Labyrinth when NoFit State will blend jaw-dropping acrobatics with surreal circus stunts and live music and dance in the project’s stunning setting. Performances take place over 21 nights from July 29 to August 29, previewing on July 29 and 30, with limited tickets available for each performance.

All the daytime activities are part of the Festival of Play, where families can also get the chance to work together to create the perfect den using different types of recycled materials. In addition they can have a go at Summer Splash, where they have to think of ingenious ways to transport water using buckets, funnels and pipes.

Eden’s popular Wild Days Out are making a return this summer too. The day-long outdoor activity programmes are suitable for families of all ages and feature bushcraft, scavenger hunts and shelter-building. Running every Tuesday and Wednesday from July 26 until August 31, Wild Days Out are from 10am to 4.30pm and can be pre-booked on 01726 811972. These all-day sessions are £25 per adult and £12.50 for those aged five to 16.

Emma Hogg, Eden’s Programme Producer, said: “This is the first time that we have ever offered circus skills and we think that people will love to join in with family and friends to try something new, exciting and maybe even daring.”

The Festival of Play takes place at Eden from July 23 until September 4. On Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays Eden will be open until 8pm. During these evenings there will be plenty of other activities, with drumming lessons from the Dhol Foundation, arts and craft workshops, Bhangra dancing and a celebration of everyone’s skills to finish off the night.

For more information on the Festival of Play, go to For more information on Labyrinth, go to