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Paul Liengaard

Circus and Theatre Facilitator & Director

Paul has over 30 years experience in circus, theatre and the performing arts having produced and directed outdoor international touring shows as well as working in film and television. With horses ,theatre and circus near to his heart, the challenge to create a touring show with a Cathedral and full size church organ led to the creation of NDP Circus as a company to produce and tour Victor Hugo's Notre Dame de Paris in 2019.


Following a successful tour including a full run at the Edinburgh festival in 2019, the course being offered this summer at Woodchester Mansion follows on from the creation of this story.


Paul specialises in combining disciplines to create Theatrical Circus, a blend of art forms that are combined to carry the thread of a narrative using different mediums and performance styles. Passionate about encouraging collaboration to tell the story and using a combination of techniques drawn from theatre, circus and a life on the road, Paul is adept at guiding and enabling experienced and inexperienced performers to ‘play their part.’

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Maria Tarokh

Producer/Dance Facilitator

Maria is a Dancer, professionally trained in ballet, contemporary and Middle Eastern dance. She has performed and taught at shows, festivals and events across the UK and Europe, co-founding a circus and events company, Gypsy Disco. 

For the last 10 years, Maria has also worked in the charity sector, particularly with organisations working with vulnerable women and refugees and asylum seekers. She holds an MA from SOAS in Middle Easter Studies and speaks French, Spanish and Farsi. 

Maria played the role of Esmeralda in the 2019 production of Notre Dame de Paris and has since worked on production and outreach, building NDP Circus from the ground up. 

Edwin Forster

Edwin Forster 

Circus/Clown Facilitator

Edwin is a circus performer and teacher, specialising in juggling and clown.

He trained in physical theatre and circus at circomedia, then theatre, character and clown at “Ecole Phillipe Gaullier” in Paris.

He is a teacher at School of Larks circus school, where he leads workshops in juggling, acrobatics, balance and aerial.

Edwin has experience with music, through piano, voice and flute. He loves classical and modern electronic music.

He toured with NDP circus in 2019, playing Quasimodo, the hunchback, along with managing the touring and re-structuring of the church organ. 

Sophie Forster

Sophie Forster 

Circus Facilitator

Sophie is a circus artist and workshop facilitator specialising in outdoor arts and pyrotechnics. She has been a teacher at School of Larks circus school for four years alongside facilitating events like the Stroud Lantern Festival and playing a part in organising seasonal celebrations including Mummers plays, wassailing and bonfire nights. Her main disciplines are fire, acrobatics, hula-hoop and fabrication of props and costumes.


Sophie was responsible for designing and running the lighting and fire FX for NDP Circus’ 2019 tour, which included candle-making, preparing torches and gas lights, and rigging pyrotechnic FX for the Rose Window. She also played the role of Esmerelda’s mother. She now lives in France where she has co-created Solduk Company, a theatre/circus initiative focusing on bringing storytelling, music and visual spectacle to rural areas across the country.