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.’
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 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 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.
Penelope has worked on many productions, both for stage and screen, as actress, writer and facilitator. Trained at Dartington College of Arts and more recently at the Bristol Old Vic’ Theatre School, she combines a love of voice and a passion for dramatic imagination and performance in whatever context she is working, and her commitment to her subject is catching. She loves to engage others in the dramatic process and to facilitate empowerment and creativity through voicework and text. She has directed and facilitated performance with a diverse community of young people, and in contexts as varied, and finds her inspiration and excitement in the inspiration of others.
Assistant Dance Facilitator
Felix is a contemporary and ballet dancer based in Cornwall. Most recently this summer, he has been sailing as First mate aboard a traditional boat in Scotland, but when at home he teaches and performs with local companies in and around Cornwall. Prior to Covid-19, he was training full time in dance at sixth form college, training with the CAT Scheme at weekends and taking Adv. 1 and grade 8 RAD Ballet classes in evenings with Jason Thomas Performing Arts.
Since the performing arts scene has been shut down for so long Felix is really excited to be able to work creatively with a group of dancers again, as I will be assistant dance facilitator at the summer intensive coming up!