Teachers

Bim Mason
Education and Artistic Director

Co-founder of Circomedia, Bim has been a professional performer and director since 1978. He’s worked with the pioneering circus-theatre groups Kaboodle and Mummer & Dada. Bim’s devised work has won three Fringe First Awards at Edinburgh: Talking Pictures (1989), and Rejects Revenge (1995 and 1997). As well as a performer, Bim is one of Britain’s leading mask makers. He created the Bigheads in 2003, a provocative street theatre piece that toured around the world. His writing work includes his own Street Theatre (1992), Provocation in Popular Culture (2015) and chapters on Lecoq, Bouffon, Street Theatre and Sean Gandini.

Rod Laver
Equilibristics and manipulation

Working across TV, circus, cabaret and variety all over the world, Rod has earned a well-deserved reputation for being one of the Europe’s most entertaining jugglers. His innovative approach to the art won him the accolade of being one of the few Brits to feature in the book, The Virtuosos of Juggling. Rod has taught Circomedia students since the very beginning, and specialises in club passing, Gentleman Juggling and juggling performance.

Sebastien Valade
Equilibristics and manipulation

Sebastien’s background was in science, but after he came to Circomedia to study juggling and physical theatre he never looked back and his passion for circus has only kept growing since. When he’s not teaching, he tours the world performing innovative solo shows or collaborating with renowned companies such as Gandini. Seb co-founded Green Eyed Zero with Circomedia’s Rachel Pollard – a physical theatre company that combines contemporary circus, theatre and digital media. He is also a prop maker specialising in mechanical and animatronics apparatus.

Mike Wright
Aerial

Before becoming an aerialist, Mike trained in Cape Town as a classical ballet dancer. He studied trapeze with Keith Anderson before touring with Circus Benneweis, Circo Cesare Togni, and Billy Smarts. Mike is also a successful producer and choreographer, devising original work with his company Above and Beyond, as well as producing flying acts for the Brit Awards, Euro 96, Simply Red, Barnum & Bailey, Circus Knie and many more.

Jonathan Priest
Aerial rope

Jonathan’s career started in the cabaret, stand-up and live art scene in London. In 1995, he worked with Tim Vine on his Fiasco show, winning the Perrier Newcomer Award at Edinburgh Festival. After training here at Circomedia, Jonathan worked internationally as a performer and teacher – collaborating with NoFit State, Cirkus Cirko, Kompani Giraff, and Kecca Rocca. His own Swedish-based company Fan-atticks runs a circus outreach programme for homeless children in Senegal.

Mish Weaver
Performance & Aerial

Circus director, choreographer and designer Mish Weaver has a BA in Fine Art and an MA in Choreography and Scenography. She is passionate about the direction of contemporary circus and developing the education of the circus artist. Mish attended the First Creative Climate Leadership Course and is spearheading Series Circus – a public engagement project of artists’ commissions, community interactions, symposiums and public performances aimed at increasing the value and depth of circus activity. Mish is Artist Director of Stumble – she has directed and designed for countless companies and individuals across the UK, and with Stumble, has produced six shows, her favourite of which was Box of Frogs in 2012. Mish teaches Circus Theatre, Creative Movement, devising, aerial and integration across the BA programme.

Janine Mahon
Aerial

Janine graduated from Circomedia and went on to form the UK’s only tipping hoop duo with her performance partner Helina Griffiths. She’s worked with a range of companies including Arcadia Spectacular, Above and Beyond, Impact Artists and the Invisible Circus. Janine has gained a reputation for her strength and technique and strives to motivate her students by pushing them out of their comfort zones so they can achieve their aerial goals.

Lisa Whitmore
Acrobatics

Lisa studied acrobatics and aerial here at Circomedia, as well as gaining her Teacher Training Certificate with us. As a professional performer, she has toured the world and taken her skills and talent to countries as diverse as Myanmar, Israel, Turkey, the Czech Republic and Germany. Lisa’s career has included performing on TV, in adverts, at corporate gigs, festivals, galas, theatre shows and within traditional circus.

Dannick Chollett
Acrobatics

Dannick and his sister Marianne both trained together at the National Institute of Circus Arts in Australia under the expert tutelage of Moscow State’s Vasily Ivanov. In 2010, the pair took 14 young performers for a six-week tour of England and Germany. When the troupe landed in Bristol, Dannick and Marianne decided they weren’t going back. They now both perform teeterboard and acrobatics for the Invisible Circus and since 2011 Dannick has taught on both the BTEC and FDA courses.

 

Lex Rooney
Head of Movement and FDA course leader

Lex trained as a dancer, specialising in European Dance Theatre practice. She’s taught at all levels of education, from universities to primary schools to youth projects. As a performer, Lex has appeared on stage and in film, and worked with companies as diverse as Protein Dance, Double Barrel Films, FallingWide, Kit & Kaboodle, The Invisible Circus, and Swerve Dance Theatre. Lex recently joined the Mama Africa project which works within Bristol’s primary schools to develop and deliver a rich curriculum of African history through dance, music, research and spoken word.

Mark Parfitt
Conditioning and Pilates

Mark started his career in the fitness industry – training as a sports therapist and fitness instructor. Deeply committed to pilates, Mark trained with Body Control Pilates and then went on to the study the method at a Masters level. As well as teaching at Circomedia, Mark has delivered fitness training at the UK’s top health clubs, including David Lloyd, Living Well, Esporta and Next Generation. Mark is involved in training pilates teachers, and is the Body Control Pilates Association council member for the south.

Rachel Pollard
Devising, integration and professional context

Having graduated from Circomedia, Rachel teamed up with Sebastien Valade to form Green Eyed Zero, a company that brings together physical theatre, contemporary circus and digital media. Green Eyed Zero has performed to critical acclaim at the National Theatre, The Lowry and Dartington Arts. Before Circomedia she was a First Class graduate from the University of Exeter, specialising in creative psycho-physical performance and new media arts. Before working at Circomedia Rachel curated three shops in Bristol city centre as part of a cooperative, designing and producing textile based work. More recently she has also begun work in visual art as a designer and maker and as a curator for creative community events.

Matt Pang
Street theatre performance

After graduating from Circomedia, Matt became the artistic director of PanGottic, an award-winning circus theatre company who have performed in countries as diverse as Holland, Latvia, Italy, Israel and South Korea. As well as his work with PanGottic, Matt comperes the Lansdown Cabaret, and recently performed in Beta Testing with the Circus Geeks.

Catherine Boot
Physical Theatre

Catherine worked as an actor for nine years before joining Circomedia to discover how she could integrate circus with physical theatre as a director. Cat now teaches physical theatre, movement and reflective practice here at Circomedia (on both degree and BTEC courses) alongside devising new work with her company Can’t Sit Still. Cat has also worked with Hubbub Theatre, New Street Theatre, and Travelling Light, and is a freelance Outdoor Arts producer for Devizes International Street Festival, PanGottic and Theatre Bristol.

Kate Webb
Teacher Training

Kate trained with both the Laban Centre and Circomedia. Her impressive performance credits include Skinning the Cat, Roughhouse Theatre Company, and Cirque Bijou. In 2002, Kate became the Artistic Director of our outreach programme and went on to set up our BTEC National Diploma qualification. Kate has an MA in Educational Research and was the lead tutor on our Teacher Training Course. As a freelance director, Kate worked with Cirque Bijou on Drawer of Dreams, a special production celebrating the re-launch of Bristol’s Colston Hall. She also works as a performance director for Tumbellina.

Piers Shearman
Aerial and conditioning (BTEC)

Piers started his career training in aerial at Circomedia before travelling to South America where he spent several years working in Colombia with social circus. Piers is interested in fusing straps and corde lisse in a theatrical context. He also works with cyr wheel and video projection.

Jacky Crosher
Aerial (BTEC)

Jacky has been a circus performer and theatre maker for many years. She specialises in teaching, directing and creating with all aspects of aerial, as well as acrobatics and various juggling skills. Currently she is a senior aerial teacher on Circomedia’s BTEC course. She has toured worldside as a professional aerial artist, most notably with NoFit State Circus and Skinning the Cat Aerial Theatre Company. In 2012 she co-founded Hinged Theatre who make participatory physical theatre for young audiences.

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