As well as producing large-scale shows (Bianco, Labyrinth, ImMortal and tabú), Tom oversees the overall artistic vision of NoFit State, including the company’s community and engagement programmes.
Back in the day, Tom was a juggler and street performer as well as performing in the old blue tent and the original NoFit State shows. Over the last 30 years he has seen, and been part of, the company growing from two people working out of a back bedroom in Cardiff to the internationally renowned organisation it is today.
As well as producing BIANCO, Labyrinth, ImMortal and tabú, Tom plays an active part in the design team - helping to develop the systems and aesthetic for the company’s touring productions.
Tom enjoys creating new work that challenges what circus is, developing the art form and the NoFit State signature style.... and taking it to far flung places and amazing audiences around the world.
Originally from mid Wales, Alison has spent the last 25 years working with a wide range of companies and organisations from Narodno Pozoriste Subotica to Brith Gof to the Boilerhouse Project.
She first met NoFit State in the late ‘90s when she worked as producer on one of the company’s first large community productions - Prophecy. She then spent several years on the company’s Board before joining the company fulltime as Executive Director in 2006.
Since then she has seen the company grow and develop and acquire its first permanent home - Four Elms.
Her vision is to support NoFit State to become a truly sustainable company that liberates the creative spirit and inspires ordinary people to do extraordinary things.
Above all though she is proudest of her daughter - now working as a nurse in an incredibly busy hospital – doing more every day to make the world a better place than most of us achieve in a lifetime.
Ali Williams is one of the co-founders and former creative directors of NoFit State.
Over the past 30 years with the company she has been a performer, fundraiser, community director, and creative producer of many NoFit State shows including Immortal, Parklife & Barricade, Open House and BLOCK.
She was director of the Circus Development Agency from 2008-10 and has been an active member of the Circostrada European Circus and Street Arts network. Her interest has always been in using circus as a tool to improve communities and supports many social circus projects.
Ali was a member of Jugglers for peace, a group that toured Nicaragua and Cuba in the late 1980's. Jugglers for Peace became the inspiration for more organisations such Clowns Without Borders and Performers Without Borders who are continuing to work in war zones and areas of poverty.
In 2013, she completed a year’s sabbatical in Nepal where she worked with Circus Kathmandu, a social circus project that works with traffic survivors rescued from Indian circuses. With Circus Kathmandu, she produced 'Swagatam', a work that enabled the company to tour internationally in Norway, UK and Australia.
As well as producing professional shows, she believes in engaging with communities and giving them opportunities to take part in performances alongside the production’s professional team. Ali supports circus companies and promoters in an advisory capacity, having been on the Roundhouse circus advisory board and the artistic advisory board for Circolombia. She has also mentored emerging companies and is passionate about supporting trainees and emerging artists to develop their talents.
Though Ali focuses on contemporary creations she loves the traditional circus lifestyle of traveling and living outdoors with a community who share a common vision.
Since leaving NoFit State in 2016, Ali has continued her work with Aman and Renu, two performers from Kathmandu, on 'As A Tiger In The Jungle', a powerful work that explores and their incredible story. The show toured the UK and Europe.
Camille's career begins in Scotland following her encounter with Chloë Dear (Boilerhouse & Iron Oxide) with whom she will work for 7 years on a variety of projects: 3600 seconds (Boilerhouse & Metaolovice), La Banda Europa (Small is Beautiful), Feet First (Edinburgh Hogmanay), Cargo (Edinburgh Mela) to name a few.
A three year stop over in France saw Camille at the side of Metalovoice promoting a number of their shows then alongside Transe Express supporting their transition into creation space La Gare à Coulisses and the tours of their spectacular aerial shows (Maudits Sonnants, Les Rois Faignants). Following her heart back to the UK Camille has now been part of the NoFit State team for 8 years, leading on the tour booking of all productions and international development as well as being involved in the company's artistic journey.
Tim joined NoFit State in 1990 - first as tent master, later in many roles, but always behind the scenes.
Today Tim is the company Health and Safety Officer and manages NoFit State’s touring box office and front of house teams. He is the only person in the world to have seen all 986 performances of Immortal, tabú, Labyrinth, and Bianco - and to have personally welcomed all 355,634 members of the audience for all 986 performances into the tent.
Two of his proudest moments are running the box office in French in Avignon and the feedback from the eight people in wheelchairs who came to the show in Antwerp.
With a background in community regeneration and community arts Bethan first encountered NoFit State in a warehouse in Butetown at one of their early shows, Autogedden.
Bethan originally studied fine art photography. After working in community arts for a couple of years, she returned to complete her post-compulsory PGCE. She then became a college lecturer, teaching photography and life drawing and from there she moved on to work in the community regeneration sector where she completed her Masters in Community Regeneration, and discovered a natural aptitude for fundraising.
Bethan joined NoFit State as the company’s Development Manager in 2012 and now, as Head of Development, she oversees fundraising, corporate sponsorship and charitable donations to support NoFit State’s performance and community work.
A wannabee domestic goddess - her passions are cakes, her wife Clare, and canines - and the company completely depends on her ability to singlehandedly create a bake sale at a moment’s notice from a caravan in a rain storm.
Becca joined NoFit State in 2015 as a work experience placement in the production team for BIANCO. Now a few years later, she is the Tour Manager for LEXICON overseeing the big top touring company as they work and travel across the globe, as well as managing the Box Office and Front of House.
Originally Becca trained as a classical musician but spent more time managing concerts and events rather than performing in them. This then lead her into going to the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama to study an MA in Arts Management. It was through this degree that she was first introduced to NoFit State.
Over the last few years with the company Becca has worked on various shows and projects including BIANCO, BLOCK and LEXICON as well as the Bryn Aber community project, the opening show for the LetniLetna Festival in Prague, the Big Splash in Newport and children’s circus workshops in Germany.
She has spent her time with the company working on all aspects of shows and events, from managing the finances to planning the travel logistics to working behind the bar during the shows and loves every part of the travelling circus lifestyle.
Matt is the production manager overseeing the LEXICON tour
Lizzy joined NoFit State as Company Administrator in August 2015, having worked at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden for many years. Whilst there, she participated in the Step Change programme with Crying Out Loudwhich opened her eyes to the marvellous world of circus, contemporary performance and producing. When she moved to Cardiff she spotted NFS and thought she’d rather like to work with them – all the things she loves in a job – and here she is! Even before she started at NoFit, BIANCO had blown her away, she’d seen and participated in Open House with a 5mth old baby strapped to her front, and without even realising it saw Immortal in London over a decade ago. She’s delighted to be on board and since being here she’s surprised herself with her hula hoop abilities and us with her white-van-man accent.
Rachel is an Irish Artist, Performer & Producer based in Cardiff. She has been involved with the company in many different guises* since 2011 and was a member of the Board from 2016 to 2019. She is particularly interested in the uniqueness of the company in regards to its community class programme, community engagement/ outreach work and company ethos.
Rachel holds a BA (Hons) Performing Arts & Theatre Studies, is currently an Associate Artist with both Doppelgangster and Happy in My Skin and has been the Stage Coordinator for the annual community arts festival madeinroath, since 2012.
Her favourite nofitstate moment has been discovering her Clown through the nofitstate Community programme back in 2011; changing her artistic outlook and allowing play to inhabit all aspects of her life.
*class member, Christmas cabaret performer, audience member, supporter, artist, festival coordinator, BLOCK painter, emergency receptionist, dog walker, first aider, party planner.
Kate is a London-born circus artist and aerialist. She started her professional life working in Public Health in the NHS, giving her a lot of experience of partnership work and project management. However, after being introduced to circus through attending community classes, she realised it also had a lot to offer to the well-being and happiness of people.
She decided that this was really her calling and promptly ran away with the circus. She was awarded a place at the National Center for Circus Arts (NCCA) and is one of the first ever in the UK to graduate with a Postgraduate Diploma in Circus Arts, specializing in swinging trapeze.
Since then she has worked for a number of touring tented circuses across Europe, festivals, corporate events and taught circus to adults and children, the London Youth Circus, and taught on the first Btec in circus at the NCCA. In between contracts, she has furthered her professional development by spending periods in Montreal working with Cirque du Soleil coach Victor Fomine, known for pushing boundaries of possibility and developing new techniques for swinging trapeze and it’s coaching.
This amazing journey into circus has now brought her to glittering sunny Cardiff to manage and develop the community programme of NFS.
Wendy is our Finance Officer. She keeps the NoFit State boat afloat and makes everyone happy on payday.
Wendy joined the company in 2008 and manages to juggle her growing family with the company’s ever growing financial complexity and the demands of keeping a tribe of circus performers in check.
Wendy was born in Sarawak, Malaysia, and moved to the UK in 2000 to study ACCA accountancy. She became a fully-qualified accountant in 2005 and before joining NoFit State she worked for Snap Cymru.
In her spare time, Wendy enjoys cooking and simply relaxing with her three beautiful children in Trefforest after a hard day’s work in the NoFit office.
Growing up in the cultural melting pot of Croydon, Ed has held a lifelong fascination with the ways in which people express themselves and stick out from the crowd. Naturally, the pursuit of this fascination led to a (semi) successful stint as a rock musician throughout his formative years.
Alas, all good things come to an end as he soon swapped South London for South Wales, first studying Journalism at Cardiff University before compounding his debt with a Master’s in PR and Communications.
Having spent eighteen months familiarising himself with Cardiff’s artistic community at the Sherman Theatre, Ed has joined the NoFit State team in 2019 to assist with all things development.
Olga’s passion for circus has emerged from her love of theatre. She is interested in the creative process from a perspective of a performer and a director. She studied Theatre and Drama at Jagiellonian University in Krakow. One Monday morning, unimpressed with the post-communist model of the theatre industry, she felt like leaving. She was gone on Wednesday…
In 2008, she moved to Cardiff and began training as an aerialist at NoFit State. She graduated from Circomedia in 2015, specialising in Corde Lisse and Physical Performance. The degree gave her an extensive understanding of circus technique and its context within the contemporary performing arts industry as well as excellent compendium of tools for devising work in variety of styles, which includes clowning, grotesque and physical theatre.
As an artist she is interested in creating performances that engage with social and political issues that simultaneously explore artistic concepts, representing the balanced coexistence of form and content. She also loves club passing, stand up comedy and board games. She is an artistic facilitator for The Meeting Lab and co-runs The Bad Egg Theatre Company.
Jo has been part of the NoFit State family for years and she is now our exceptional Head of Reception.
Having always believed that Mums make the best jugglers, Jo quickly realised that Receptionists were even better when she joined the team in 2015. Since then she has been practising the art of Hat Juggling between Reception, Finance Assistant, Safeguarding Officer and Circus Mum, and is now a master of the art!
Former Reception and Facilities Manager
Beth managed the reception team until August 2018 and ensured the smooth running of the company's community home on Four Elms Road. Her introduction to NoFit State was when she was invited to work in the company Box Office at Edinburgh Fringe in 2010. She
was drawn to NoFit State through her love of the arts. She designs individual pieces of fashion and accessories and also loves to paint and draw. You would often see Beth bringing irrepressible glamour to Four Elms with her little dog Saint as an adoring side kick.
Manjula is a freelance business psychologist and executive/career coach. She attended school and university in Cardiff and trained in Human Resources.
Her first brush with NoFit State was memorably back in 2005 at their performance in the Oval Basin in Cardiff Bay. She was wowed then and continues to seek to involve herself and support an organisation that contributes in such a unique way to both the world of art and the local community.
As a trustee, Manjula contributed to the people aspects of the business to identify and nurtured business talent and potential within the NFSC family.
George is a Performance artist, Circus performer, Outdoor theatre maker, Cruise ship entertainer, Former Mascot, ex Drag performer, Current Co-Creator of Mary Bijou Cabaret and Social Club, Director, and Teacher but most of all...and with out a doubt he is a clown.
George has worked with NoFit as a preformer in the past and was a member of the board from 2015 to 2019.
Yvette has always worked in the arts. She started in West Wales in community arts (one of the original Dyfed Dance animateurs), moved from there to Cardiff, where she worked for the Arts Council of Wales as Drama Officer. This is where she first came in touch with NoFit State and memorably could not give them a grant - it was pre-lottery and there was no spare money for projects then - but she did give them a training grant and money to bring in new talent and has had a keen interest in the company since then. She set up Wales Arts International, a partnership between the Arts Council of Wales and the British Council aiming to help organisations sell their work abroad and attract good work into Wales.
She then was a Policy Manager at the Wales European Centre in Brussels where she saw a lot of circus and performance. Back to Wales, she wrote Cardiff’s bid for European Capital of Culture – we didn’t win but we were close- and then to London to take on the role of Chief Executive of Visiting Arts (where she still works but lives in Cardiff). Going to see Immortal at the Roundhouse hooked her back into the Company. When the opportunity to become the Chair of NoFit State came in up in 2019 she threw her hat into the ring. It has been exciting, challenging and her ontribution made a huge impact. The compnay thanks her for all her work as Chair.
Having been in the industry for too many years to count I think it’s fair to say that when it comes to issues facing growing businesses I’ve been there done that and bought the t-shirt!
My career has been an interesting one and as well as my current role at Grant Thornton I have worked at Deloitte, Haskins and Sells, later to become PwC. I have dealt with Tax Investigations as an ex Inspector of Taxes and I have provided a wealth of commercial tax and expansion advice to both growing businesses and stakeholders.
This professional experience along with my personal connection with the company as a youth circus parent means I am able to bring a fresh perspective as a trustee to help drive NoFit State’s talent management.
As former Director for Arts Development for Arts Council England in the South West Region, Hilary brings a huge amount of experience to the board.
Within her time as Creative Producer at the Eden Project, she played a key role in NoFit State’s residencies there. The residencies resulted in the site-specific production Labyrinth and led on to the very first iteration of BIANCO.
As the Director and Owner of Riverford Home Delivery, she oversaw a hugely successful business with a strong environmental mission.
Her acute understanding of the complexities of the wider arts sector along with her environmental insight and business acumen, makes her a valuable member of the board.
Hilary is currently taking the role of acting Chair.
Starting out with traditional circus from Norwich to New Zealand, Lyndall became established in modern touring circus in the UK and later branched out internationally. He was highly trained in swinging trapeze by Viktor Fomine in Montreal and Juliette Hardy-Donaldson from Duo Vertigo/High Performance/Circus Space, London. Lyndall began his training at Circomedia in Bristol, where he gained inspiration and first experiences of flying from Mike Wright.
Some of his many harness shows have included The Winter Olympics Opening Ceremonies in Vancouver, X-Factor for Sony Music, 77 MTA Qatar and ETA with Bassline Circus and Studio de Cirque de Marseille. Often his role as performer has overlapped with rigger, giving an extra dynamic to shows with human counter-weighting, abseiling and traverses.
Assistant Tent Master for LEXICON.
Sam Goodburn, a 23 year old Circus Performer from Bournemouth, UK is the overall winner of three different national circus competitions; Circus Maximus 'Search for the UK's Best Circus Act' (2015), Freestyle Unicycle Championships (current) and the Under 21 Juggling Competition (2012).
Teaching himself circus from the age of 11 Sam has not studied at any circus school and instead been performing as circus artist full time since he finished school.
Sam has had already had a colourful career in the different pockets of the circus industry, working as the clown in a traditional circus, a ringmaster at corporate events, toured with the BBC's 'Mr. Tumble Circus' arena tour and NoFit State shows 'Taking the air' and 'Open House', performed as a street entertainer at Glastonbury Festival and in 2017 produced his first one hour circus-theatre show at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Sam's range of experience gives him unique understanding of traditional and contemporary circus.
Rosa was born in 1993 in Konstanz, Germany. After her parents moved to Portugal she followed
primary and secondary education there until it was time to decide her profession.
With 16 years, Rosa discovered a Circus School in Lisbon, made the audition and entered.
Since then she has been practicing circus arts.
After 3 years of study at the professional school of circus arts and craft, EPAOE – Chapitô, Rosa
continued her circus education at ESAC (École Supérieure des Arts du Cirque) in Brussels, from
were she graduated with her own act, « Double Cordes ».
Specialized in aerial ropes with more than 7 years of experience, she developed a high technical
level together to her own personal style.
Her work has been strongly influenced by the social aspect, in which she will continue to develop
her body language, personal and universal art.
During her recent artistic career she has been collaborating with different organizations and
companies, such as : Les Halles de Schaerbeek, Hong-Kong Arts Centre, Cie. Feria Musica, GOP
Varieté Hannover, Circusplaneet Gent, Das Zelt.
And has presented her work at international circus meetings and other artistic events like the
«Ursino Buskers Festival » in Catania (IT), « Secret Places Festival » in Maastricht (NL), the « X
Encuentro de Malabaristas y Artistas de Circo » Convention in Zaragoza (ES), the « BLN CRCS
FSTVL » Circus Festival in Berlin (DE), « Festival PERPLX » (BE), « Mezopotamian Circus
Festival » (TU)...
Vilhelmiina Sinervo is a circus artist from Finland. She started circus at the age of 14 and has been doing it ever since. She graduated from University of Turku in 2014 and from Académie Fratellini in 2017 with a Bachelor degree.. Her main discipline is slack rope, but she can work on various disciplines. She enjoys trying new things, working with people and finding solutions in problems. NoFit State is her first step to professional circus life. Vilhelmiina is currently living in Finland and France.
Mathieu Hedan est né le 06/9/1984 à Martigues
Après des études en Ukraine au Collège of Variety and Circus Arts avec son maître Mr Vitold Antonovitch , il donne place à la recherche
Intéressé par la danse et après un an de cours intensifs et workshops ,il intégre le Centre National des Arts du Cirque à Chalons en Champagne où il développe son langage corporel et artistique.
Diplômé du CNAC, il intègre la compagnie Pré-o-ccupé pour le spectacle de Nikolaus"Tout est bien" mise en scène par Christian Lucas
Mathieu Hedan travaille également pour des cabarets et pour différents événements ou festivals , dans des créations collectives ou en solo.
Depuis maintenant 10 ans en tant qu'équilibriste, il travaille régulièrement avec des chorégraphes de renommée comme Rachid Ouramdane , Dominique Boivin ,Perrine Valli ou Yann Lheureux.
Il travaille pour de nombreuses compagnies de rue et salle pour tous types d'évenementiels
Il continue à proposer différents workshop autour de sa matière ( l'équilibre et le mouvement ) en france et à l'étranger
Il travaille en tant que technicien sur de nombreux évènements
Il est actuellement en création pour la nouvelle création Lexicon de la compagnie galloise No Fit State pour 2018
Il est actuellement en cours de création pour des projets en solo
Luke is a London bred circus artist. He graduated the National Centre for Circus arts (NCCA) in 2015 with a first class honors degree and went on to study at Le Lido Centre des Arts du Cirque du Toulouse.
Alongside the creation and tour of Lexicon Luke is conducting a research project on creative language within circus, is touring with his own company 'London beaches' and touring his own solo piece 'just.what.'
My name is Conor Pelan. I trained at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. I started playing guitar at 11, when my parents bought me a cheap Yamaha beginner’s guitar. I always loved playing and found it was something cathartic about playing and singing that I could connect with that I wasn’t really finding anywhere else. I mainly just played by myself for years, writing awful songs and singing as loud as I could until I was told to please keep it down by everyone. When I was 13 years old I heard the song, ‘Subterranean Homesick Blues’ by Bob Dylan and distinctly remember it having a massive effect on me as it was the first time I really heard music. That then began my journey into listening to a range of folk such as Neil Young, Towns Van Zandt, Joni Mitchell, which took me into the other genres of those decades of music, such as Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Pink Floyd, The Who, The Rolling Stones and Van Morrison. For years I was absolutely captivated by British and American music from those decades and still am to a huge degree. I also started playing harmonica with the guitar and singing during this time, plagiarised massively from the Bob Dylan influence. I was in a series of awful bands then for the next few years. However after about 17 though I went on playing solo guitar and writing and only doing solo concerts in bars and events. For the next three years I performed like this until I was asked to join a folk/bluegrass/blues band that was in its early stages called No Oil Paintings. It was a huge experience for me, because unlike the other times, these musicians were very serious and talented. The experience was great, realising my own faults and where I lacked skills, such as timing, dynamics and harmonies. Also looking after my own equipment and realising what it’s like to be part of an ensemble of musicians. We did concerts together for about two years, starting off in packed drunken pubs, doing open mic nights, running our own nights and playing festivals. It was a great experience of living on the road on fish and chips and cigarettes and doing small tours around the North of Ireland where I’m from and making money for our craft. Sadly I had to leave though once I got accepted into the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama to start a BA in Acting in Cardiff. While I was here I learnt that some people work professionally as an actor musician and I realised that was something I wanted to do. We were given vocal lessons once a week for the three years, the first year as part of a class and the second year as individual singing lessons. These were a fantastic opportunity for me as I had never had singing lessons before and though my teacher enjoyed my passion for singing, she wanted me to work on the technique that had been neglected for years. I was very lucky as I had a teacher who didn’t want to change my sound but just give me more control over it. For those three years I worked on my singing warm ups every day for half an hour and was able to get the control that I never had. Now I’ve graduated I work as an actor musician in Cardiff. I think working with the No Fit State ensemble will be massively beneficial to me, the next chapter of moving up to a whole new level of professional standard. A long way from that £108 acoustic guitar when I was 11.
Born in Grenoble (French Alps), Joachim was introduiced to heights at an early age by his mountain guide father. He became interested in climbing, speleology, and vertical dance, occasionally performing shows with his father at "Aussibal & cie". He continued to persue his interests into college where he studied outdoor sports.
After high school, he worked in the mountains as a ski patrol officer for two years and learnt straps and rope, later working with Les Studios de Cirque with the shows Place des Anges and Circo da Madrugada. Joachim has spent two years touring the world and performing at international festivals and is loving circus life. In 2013 he joined Flic circus school in Italy where he specialised in ropes, acrobatics and teeterboard.
Blaze's first encounter with circus was when her mum cooked for the juggling convention blaze occupied herself and learn't to unicycle in just a week, little did she know that her mum would the go and tour with nofitstate as there permanent chef. Touring with Nofit State changed Blaze’s aspirations, she left school to attend Circomedia, circus and performance arts college. She then continued to study at Circomedia in which she specialized in Physical Theater and Aerial. During her studying she also perform for many different events such as , Cirque Bijou at the Colston Hall Bristol, Emerald ensemble, The swing thing Invisible circus, The big top at Glastonbury other festivals across England, Blaze also performed in Nofit State’s show Labyrinth at the Eden Project.
Rosa found her way into the circus at the age of 5 in a local youth circus called Sorin Sirkus in Tampere Finland, where she learned the basics of different circus disciplines like pyramids and skipping ropes.
As her main discipline Rosa chose foot juggling. Rosa graduated from art oriented high school in 2012 and left to Voionmaa Institute for a one year to study acting.
In 2014 she was accepted to a circus university called Ècole Superieure des Arts du Cirque (ESAC) in Brussels. In ESAC Rosa found her own personal style of manipulate foot juggling objects, mixing a new hand manipulation and traditional foot juggling technic with a spice of theatrical play. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in June 2017.
After school she joined to NoFit State Circus for their new creation, Lexicon. Rosa is also one of the founders of a Finnish contemporary circus company called Sirkum Polaris and their first show called 'Kulovalkea' will premier in 2019.
Libby Spencer has been freelancing as a Stage, Events and Production Manager for the last 10 years. This is her second production with NoFit State having previously toured with Bianco. Her background is in Live Events, Festivals and Music Production.
Libby attended The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama where she got her degree in Theatre Practice. She now also teaches Stage Management at RCSSD. Libby's main goal is to be able to do a forward roll and five star jumps in a row.
Luca is a contemporary circus artist who attended the Vertigo circus school in Turin, Italy before enrolling with ESAC high school in Brussels.
Luca specialises in Chinese pole, juggling and acrobatics. He joined NoFit State in 2018 to perform in LEXICON.
Very energetic from a young age, Fabian first started with swimming and karate. While continuing to progress in these sports, at the age of 8 years old he fell into the ring of circus and was blown away by the endless possibilities to innovate and share.
Enjoying throwing objects in the air, moving his body with fluidity and always hungry for excitement, the desire to become a circus artist appeared quickly. Supported by his family at age of 16 he decided to take off and begin his artistic career. After a Europe tour, he flew to Montreal to integrate the prestigious « National circus school » where he have graduated.
Curious by nature, he is multidisciplinary circus artist who likes innovating. Inspired by everything that is around him to recreate his disciplines and amaze his audience’s. The circus appears to him as a world of infinite potential to express on stage the many facets of what is happening in our imaginary universe. Aware that a number is a unique moment for the spectators, he gives his all to amaze and visually captivate them. With this in mind it is his initial goal to offer as much as possible on the world stage, and in the streets, while remaining passionate and always enjoying himself.
Nicoló is a circus artist who specialises in Base and Risley. He joined the NoFit State family in 2018 to perform in the company's brand new show, LEXICON.
Junior in a circus artist from Brazil, who has been touring with NoFit State for over 3 years, beginning his journey as performer and rigger in the Firenza Guidi-directed Bianco before moving on to rig and perform in the company's new show, Lexicon in 2018.
Molly comes from a background of travelling and music, having grown up on boats playing folk songs from an early age. After studying art in Bristol, she began working with circuses in 2009 as both a musician and set-builder, and now also takes on various production roles. After releasing her debut EP with her own band, Molly Samson & The Cautionary Tales, she joined NoFit State in 2014.
Lisa was born in Tuscany (Italy) and fell in love with music and theatre as a child. After a degree in literature from the University of Pisa, she trained at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London in Advanced Theatre Practice. She then cofounded Fye and Foul, a company that explores theatre in the dark and immersive sound.
Lisa has been a member of ELAN Frantoio since 2005, training in performing, music and movement and working both as a performer and musician nationally and internationally.
Pauline has been working around musicians and theatre companies since age of 16.
After studying cultural management and rural development in France, she has been involved in many artistic projects in France and the United States in several positions (producer, tour booker, PR, designer, marketing manager, assistant rigger, cook...).
She met No Fit State Circus in 2013 in Brighton where she was only supposed to stay for a few weeks of volunteering and ended up staying for the whole tour! Since then, Pauline has been exploring loads of different jobs in the company including bar manager, steward, crew and assistant producer.
On another side, she has been training music and physical theatre for the last 4 years. In the the last creation, Pauline added another string to her bow, performing as a musician and singer in LEXICON.
Lee started his physical training in parkour and initially joined NoFit State in 2009 on Parklife. One mathematics degree later he had trained in juggling, wall trampoline and tumbling. Lee then went on to spend one year as a trainee performer for NoFit State and went on to perform on a number of shows throughout the company, most recently with BLOCK. He can now be found filling the role of in-house rigger and showing off his impressive juggling skills at community performances at Four Elms.
A circus artist from England, Andy was a physically active child, at the age of twelve he began breakdancing. Later he developed his abilities in movement to include parkour and free running where he gained most of his acrobatic skills. Through training with performance enthusiasts he was introduced to the circus arts which lead to discovering his passion in hand to hand.
He followed his passion all the way to Paris, enrolling at Acadame Fratellini an established and well respected school for performers specialising in Hand to Hand, after graduating he expanded his skills to include Hand Balancing and Aerial Straps.
Rosie is a dancer/performer with Motionhouse, our collaborators on BLOCK.
Onyemachi is a dancer/performer with Motionhouse, our collaborators on BLOCK.
Joel is a dancer/performer with Motionhouse, our partners and collaborators BLOCK.
From a young age Gemma performed and studied in theatre, musical theatre, dance and music and completed a BA in American Theatre Arts. Gemma’s circus journey started at an intensive course at GENCO in London and she went on to study aerial hoop on the three year programme at Circus Space. Since graduating she has continued to develop skills in acrobatics, handstands, rope, silks and aerial straps and is always looking at ways to improve.
Gemma has performed with Cardiff circus companies since graduating in 2012 and moved to the city three years ago. She has been teaching aerial and acrobatics to both adults and youth at Nofit State both in person and online.
Orit is an artistic director, facilitator and creative thinker. Her experience combines devising and directing large scale performances and events; creating new contexts for collaborations between artists and communities; and facilitating creative enquiry and artform development.
Orit first met NoFit State in 1996. At that time, she was interested in creating immersive promenade experiences for audiences in unusual spaces, contexts and communities; and weaving together different artforms and media into a new language of theatre. The two found lots in common and have worked together ever since, in a variety of relationships. As creative collaborator, Orit was director of the Stepping Stones trilogy (1997 – 2002); and artistic director of a new phase of large scale outdoor work (2009 – 2015) including Parklife, Barricade, Taking the Air and Open House. In terms of company strategy and vision, Orit was part of the company development team 1998 – 2002, served as a member of the Board of Trustees from 2004 and Chair between 2006 and 2008 and has also supported creative development and evaluation processes.
In parallel, Orit has worked on a range of other projects, large and small, including: creative director of Portrait of a Nation, for Liverpool Culture Company and Heritage Lottery Fund, as the culmination of Liverpool’s year as European Capital of Culture 2008; director of Window Dressing with the Windows Collective; director of The Clock Strikes 20 for Pifpaf; and, most recently, artistic director of Something Good as part of Birmingham Cathedral’s 300th anniversary celebrations in 2015.
Orit Azaz is an advocate for the circus and outdoor arts community in the UK, facilitating creative conversations, laboratories and conferences, including for Circus Futures, Independent Street Arts Network (ISAN UK), Arts Connect West Midlands, mac Birmingham and Creative Shift.
Paul has been a collaborator with NoFit State for some time, first as a performer, then as Circus Director and Choreographer for the outdoor work, working with Orit Azaz on: Barricade (2012), Streets Alive (Birmingham), Open House and the site-specific: Taking the Air; he also Directed the initial research and development project of Block for NoFit State in 2012/13 and continues on as Circus Director in collaboration with Motion House. Paul has also directed and choreographed several site specific and youth projects for NoFit State.
Paul is Artistic Director for Crashmat Collective; a company that seeks to blur the boundaries between performer and audience and create work from the personal truths of the performers. Their works are: Façade, Shoppers Reflection and Wheelie Tweeting (Work in progress). In 2014 he set up a new venture: Flying Diplodocus, to encompass the research aspects of his work and was commissioned for: I Breathe at National Paralympic Day/Liberty Arts Festival 2014, funded by The Jerwood Charitable Foundation to conduct choreographic research into Aerial and Voice and is in the process of creating Don’t Mention the F Word, a Verbatim Circus-Theatre piece all about gender.
Paul continues to work freelance as a director and choreographer and investigates new processes of creation for circus. Credits include: Circus Director – Puffball – The Roundhouse: Directed by Mark Storor; Director and Choreographer – Swagatam – Circus Kathmandu; Circus Director – Planetary – Pif Paf: Directed by Helen Parlor; Facilitator – The Red Thread – Whispering Woodfolk; Circus Consultant – No Devil Lived On – Mahogany Opera Group: Directed by Frederic Wake-Walker…
With a background in performance and high skill, Paul is able to bring a unique approach to Contemporary Circus and Circus-Theatre, which places circus at the heart of creation and pushes both performers and audiences in new ways.
Born in Saint Catherine Town in Jamaica. When studying fine art at Cardiff Art College, Kevin began training in stilt walking, fire swinging and trapeze with Splott State Community Circus, before becoming an apprentice on NoFit State’s first tour of Immortal in 2004. Since then he has performed with the company in Immortal, Tabu, Labyrinth, Mundo Paralelo - and Bianco. He now specialises in aerial rope. He has also performed with the Generating Company on the Cocophony show and with Crashmat Collective, is one of NoFit State regular tutors in Cardiff and is also an accomplished dancer and salsa teacher.
Native Cornishman, Karlos, has worked with NoFit State on many productions including ImMortal, Bianco and more recently Lexicon.
Hannah trained as an actor at Birmingham Royal Conservatoire and first attended aerial classes with Nofit State as a community member. Hannah works in both circus and theatre and enjoys combining text with movement and aerial - using rope, hoop and silks.
Hannah performed on Nofit State's outdoor show, Open House, for three years, and has performed regularly for Upswing, Omidaze, Theatr Pena, Mary Bijou Cabaret and Social Club, and Flying Diplodocus.
Hannah began attending aerial classes at NoFit State as a community member in 2009 and now teaches aerial hoop, rope and silks. Hannah performed for the first time with NoFit State in their 2013 community project, Streets Alive/Open House. As a performer, Hannah is particularly interested in combining text, song and voice work with aerial performance.
A Cardiff born fluent Welsh speaker, trained at Greentop Circus in 1997, Polichinelo Circus in 2000 and then graduated with a first class honours from the National Centre of Circus Arts, (then known as The Circus Space) in 2003.
She performed in two of NoFit State’s community shows before joining the company as a professional in 2004. She has been a trainer on the youth circus programme since 2011 and leads many outreach projects.
Teaches: Juggling, Manipulation & Balance
Performed in: ImMortal Community show in Bute Park 2002, Splott on the Landscape Oct 2003, ImMortal - Coming Out Alive 2004, Christmas Cabaret 2013
Eric McGill is a Canadian swinging trapeze artist based in the United Kingdom. Eric started his acrobatic career at the age of seven as a competitive trampolinist. In 2010 Eric graduated from the National Circus School in Montreal. With his swinging trapeze and aerial straps acts he has worked in cabarets, big tented shows and large outdoor festivals around the world including Germany, Mexico, Australia, Canada, and the UK to name a few.
Teaches: Static Trapeze, Aerial Straps, and Swinging Trapeze.
Performed in: Taking the Air (2014), Open House (2015)
I started circus at NoFit’s Youth Circus at the age of 15, after a year I moved to Bristol to study on Circomedia’s BTEC course specialising in Aerial Rope, and then after graduation I went on to study Handbalancing at the National Centre for Circus Arts before becoming a trainer for NFS.
Teaches: Handbalance, Youth Circus
After studying at Circomedia, Elle completed a traineeship with No Fit State Circus funded by ACW. She has performed in - Bianco - Turning Savage, Airtime - Send me a Postcard, ELA - Duo Street Show.
Elle coordinates a youth inclusion project for Circus Eruption and runs the youth aerial company for Dance Blast and teaches with youth participation projects for Youth Arts Active, Citrus Arts and NoFit State.
Co founder of Splatch, producing large scale interdisciplinary immersive performances. Subsequent to her work as a performer Elle has produced rural tours, dressed parades, curated and directed community performances. Her passion is in outdoor arts and site and context specific work.
Performs Hula Hoop and Fire Shows
Teaches Hula Hoop, Aerial, Youth Circus
Francis is a circus trainer, performer and director. He teaches the ground-based skills, all forms of juggling, rope walking, Rolla Bola, unicycle, balance and manipulation as well as performance technique and clowning.
In the early years (1980/90’s), Francis performed alongside NoFit State and has been closely involved with the company since then.
He has performed in the circus for over 38 years as a clown and ropewalker and has toured extensively across the UK with a comic slack rope act. During this time Francis ran circus schools that were involved in two of NoFit State’s early shows and many other school projects.
In 2017, Francis directed the Youth Circus show ‘Circus 250 Years Young’
He's still performing circus clowning, but not the dangerous stuff. He also works as a storyteller and musician.
Kevin is the founder and artistic director of Motionhouse, our collaborators on BLOCK. Known for his dynamic, highly visual productions integrating dance, circus and digital technology, he is responsible for the distinctive style that Motionhouse is renowned for.
He is passionate about exploring and questioning the traditional use of space in performance, which has led to the creation of an extensive body of work developed over three decades. He is regularly commissioned to develop extraordinary dance spectacles, most notably as Choreographer and Movement Director of the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
Emma is currently Associate Producer for NoFit State where she has overseen the Circus Village project in both Newcastle-under-Lyme and Avignon. Prior to her time with NoFit she co-founded and ran the theatre company Transport and was interim producer at the National Theatre on the Connections festival. She previously worked as a freelance Stage Manager working with companies including Complicité, National Theatre, The Royal Court, Wildworks and the Michael Clark Company.
Ellis Grover began his journey touring with his fathers Blues band in West Wales. After expressing a keen interest in Parkour and playing the drums he ended up colliding with nofitstate Circus when he was 16. After becoming a trainee of the company and touring with the show's Parklife and Barricade, he joined the Pirates of the Carabina company and toured with the award winning show FLOWN for 6 years. Along side that, Ellis has formed a name for himself crossing Highwires and achieving many a dangerous balance feat, terrifying and entertaining people worldwide.
Dylan was born in Bangor, North Wales, and trained at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. He spent three years in the West End’s ‘Les Miserables’, and has also worked on radio, tv, and film with over thirty international credits including projects in Italy, Denmark, Iceland, Patagonia and India. Dylan has just spent his second year as a singer at the ‘Thursford Christmas Spectacular’. He has previously worked with ‘No Fit State’ on the community project ‘Mae Yna Le’ in ‘Pontio Arts Centre’ in north wales, and is delighted to now join the ‘Lexicon’ company.
Nicola is a long-standing friend of NoFit State and is the founder of Organised Kaos Youth Circus in Gwaun Cae Gurwen.
She recently directed our community's Circus Punks: A Renegade Show which was electric, combining our amazing community's and professionals' circus skills into an amazing night of performance, tricks and triumphs!
Emily started life off in Italy to an artistic family so the taste for performance and food was in the air!
She is an experienced cook for Circus types. Using fresh colourful nutritious produce having cooked for sailing racing teams to circus crews and a few weddings in between over the last 20 years. She also set up and ran the company Strumpets with Crumpets with two friends for 10 years winning an award for best festival food concession.
In Circus life she trained at circomedia and has worked as an Aerial dancer/ physical performer for Arcadia and The Invisible circus for 10 years as well as other projects and companies. Emily has been working with Elan Frantoio as a performer, cook and doing costume for the last two years.
Hi! My names Charlie, and my first experience with NoFit State was when I was 12 and saw them perform. I was immediately interested in joining, so as soon as I could I started classes. As a kid I enjoyed anything that got my feet off the ground, including acro balance and rope, however my first love was the trapeze. I'm finally back, now with an acting degree under my belt. I'm eager to teach but also to continue to learn. I'm a massive believer that circus should be inclusive whatever your age or ability and as a result I encourage everyone to get involved when doing workshops, especially the big kids. I look forward to teaching and learning alongside you all.
Laine came from the contemporary dance world. She gained a scholarship to study her BPA at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance in Leeds in 1996. In her third year of training she toured with Verve Contemporary Dance Company, performing in theatres around the UK. After graduating she travelled down under to work with Sydney Dance Company Studios, performing on the streets, in parks and entertainment venues including The Star Sydney and Sydney Opera House.
Laine has a passion for movement and music and has taught and created dance for over 14 years. She has worked extensively within the community dance sector, performing in schools, care homes and mental health drop-in centres.
In 2015 she took a Flying Trapeze class at NoFit State and was totally hooked. She squished in as much training as possible and circus became her life as she fell in love with the magic that it brings to people.
Laine teaches Flying Trapeze, Static Trapeze and Youth Circus.
Laura first joined NoFit State community aerial classes in 2015. Prior to discovering circus she was a trampoline gymnast and had always loved being upside down. Her main disciplines are aerial hoop, rope and handstands. She began teaching on the Youth Circus Jedi Aerial programme in September 2019 and also has a certificate in Advanced Stretching Technique. She also holds a degree in Psychology and a PhD in Neuroscience.
Laura performed with NoFit State community for Journeys in 2015, the 2017 Christmas Cabaret and Circus Punks in 2019.
Abdul Shayek is the Artistic Director & Joint CEO of Tara Arts. Abdul was previously founding Artistic Director & CEO of Fio, Abdul is also an opera director with WNO and has worked with ENO.
He is a former Creative Associate of National Theatre Wales where he oversaw the companies research and development strand and delivered the 'Assembly' programme (a series of performance debate events) across Wales and beyond.
Abdul is a member of British Council's Arts and Creative Economy a steering group, a Clore Cultural Leadership Fellow (2013-14), vice-chair of the National Alliance for Arts in the Criminal Justice System, as well as being a trustee of mid-Wales dance company Impelo.
Hi, I'm Trystan a circus artist and teacher from North Wales, now based in Bristol. Growing up, I spent 14 years training as a competitive gymnast later becoming the mens coach for Wrexham Olympic Gymnastics Club. More recently I am in my final year of the BA in Circus at Circomedia where I specialise in static and doubles trapeze.
I am co-founder of Grounded Circus, an emerging welsh company which specialises in outdoor arts and circus. I have worked for companies and festivals such as Cirque Bijou, Invisible Circus, Shambala, Greenman, Port Elliot, Glastonbury and Above and Beyond. I teach regular tumbling classes in Bristol, dynamic trapeze workshops around the UK, and now the youth and adult classes here at NoFit State.