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.
Rachel is an Irish Artist, Performer & Producer based in Cardiff. She has been involved with the company in many different guises* since 2011 and enthusiastically joined the Board in 2016. 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, tbc..
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.
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 attended Lancaster University where she got a Bachelors degree in Music upon which she quickly realised a life of performing on stage was not for her due to awful stage fright and that a life back stage was much more fitting. From here, and with hopes of becoming a Producer, she went onto to study a Masters degree in Arts Management at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. It was from this Masters where she went to NoFit State in April 2015 for a work placement on Bianco and hasn’t left since.
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.
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.
Beth’s introduction to NoFit State was when she was invited to work in the company Box Office at Edinburgh Fringe in 2010. Today she manages the reception team and ensures the smooth running of the company's community home on Four Elms Road.
Beth 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 will often see Beth bringing irrepressible glamour to John Street 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 contributes to the people aspects of the business to identify and nurture 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 joined the board in 2015.
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 up she threw her hat into the ring. It has been exciting, challenging and she will do her best to help the Company steer a great course over the next few years.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 2nd BIANCO tour with No Fit State. 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.
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 many 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! As she fell in love with the circus life, Pauline has been exploring loads of different jobs in the company like assistant cook, bartender or assistant producer.
In Lexicon, Pauline added another string to her bow, performing as a singer in LEXICON.
Lee started his physical training in parkour and initially joined Nofitstate 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 then went on to perform on a number of shows throughout the company. He can now be found performing in Block as well as filling the role of in-house rigger.
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.
Gemma started performing in theatre and discovered circus after a graduating from drama school. She started with a short course at GENCO in London and went on to study at Circus Space where she specialised in aerial hoop. Since graduating she has continued to develop skills in acrobatics, handstands, rope, silks and aerial straps.
She has trained as a NO Fit professional when she has been in Cardiff over the last few years but has now settled in the city. She has been teaching youth on the summer schools.
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.
After having studied for a BA (hons) and MA in English Literature and Critical Theory, Hannah went to drama school to train as an actor. Since graduating, Hannah has undertaken classical roles in plays by Shakespeare, Chekhov and Lorca with various theatre companies, as well as children's theatre, devised work, physical theatre, voiceover and short film.
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
Teaches - Hula Hoop, Aerial and 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 have 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 States 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.