Toby Philpott

Toby Philpott - Howdy! image
  • Archive team
  • Crew
  • Performer
  • Trustee
With company
1991 - 1997

“Have a little fun, make a little money, do a little good.”


Toby spent the 70s as a solo comedy juggler and acrobatic clown, working in Fringe Theatre, and researching and teaching circus skills. There were no professional props available, and no instructional books or videos. He worked on ground-based disciplines, as no specialised buildings existed. What he was doing was more like music hall or variety, rather than 'circus'. He spent a lot of time performing in the street, too, back before it became culturally acceptable.
By the end of the 70s he found his way into working as a film puppeteer (drawing on his training in masks and mime). He was part of the early network of like-minded people that became the huge juggling and new circus community of today. In 1983, finding himself in Cardiff, and self-unemployed, he ran a juggling workshop at the Rubicon dance centre, where he first met the people who were to become NoFit State Circus, and introduced them to the thriving sub-culture of juggling conventions and New Circus.
He helped set up the original Circus Space (in a squat), and spent a brief time teaching at FoolTime in Bristol. When the founder members of NoFit State bought their own tent, they came and invited him to run away with the circus. So he did, and toured several times in the early 90s.
In 2004 he became a Trustee, and in 2015 worked as the Project Archivist, overseeing the three-pronged project: sorting paperwork to donate to The Glamorgan Archives, helping create this website, and supporting the team working on an exhibition at Four Elms, in December 2015.

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