Application for funding NCA Feb 2024

Artist Bio:

Paul Dewhurst
DOB:  29.09.75
Home: Newcastle Upon Tyne
Juggler, Magician, Artist

In 1997 I graduated with a degree in philosophy and politics and immediately began to think some deep thoughts about my unemployment.
Fortunately, I met a Juggler, camped next to me at Glastonbury festival. A man who played with crystal balls in a hypnotic and beautiful way, a man who made colourful orbs float in the air weaving an intriguing dance.
I was inspired to practice, to move to London, to immerse myself in the embrace of a community of jugglers and circus performers.
Three years later I had quit other work and began juggling on the streets in Covent Garden to make a living. I wasn’t earning a lot, but I had realised that my art and passion were the source of my happiness. 

I supplemented my, rather meagre, performing income with a job in Oddballs in Camden Town, a shop selling juggling and circus equipment. Luckily the shop attracted a range of wonderful characters who  continued to broaden my horizons and ambitions. Colourful performers of juggling, clown and magic who were generous with their knowledge and time, sharing techniques and then inviting me to work with them on gigs in corporate and social circus settings.

I won competitions for my creativity in magic. London Society of Magicians 2004, 2005.

In my spare time I practised and studied. I studied Clown with Frazer Hooper at Circus Space (Now National Centre for Circus Arts) and took courses in mime, acting, magic and improvisational performance at London City Lit. I attended many juggling conventions and joined The Magic Circle, immersing myself in the performance arts I felt passion for.
By 2003 I was a full-time performer and was teaching juggling myself at Jackson’s Lane Community Centre, Highgate and Science of Acting School, Holloway.

In 2007 I moved cities to Brighton and began selling circus equipment again at music festivals around the UK, now for a company called Firetoys. I continued to teach Circus Skills at Smallworld Festival a couple of times a year and became involved in running Bristol 10 day Juggling Convention.

In 2010 I relocated to Newcastle, my home town, and established myself as  a close up magician, children’s performer and teacher of manipulation circus skills. During my time in Newcastle I have been involved in the local circus community as a teacher, board member and circus school administrator. I continue to develop new work as a performer and collaborator.

Visit my Magician Website HERE

View my Magician Promo Video HERE

Proposal of the Work:

Unmasking Mascot Horror

I’m fascinated by the new Mascot Horror genre enjoyed by my children and so many others.
I am seeking funding to support the creation of a short contact juggling, clown and puppet performance piece that draws inspiration from cuddly toys and children’s stories, with a spooky twist. My initial aim is a performance of about 5 minutes length.

I am attempting to craft a performance that blends the whimsical innocence of childhood with an eerie and enchanting atmosphere, creating a unique and captivating experience for audiences. 

The envisioned performance will transport audiences into a world where the nostalgic comfort of cuddly toys collides with a hint of mystery and spookiness, creating an immersive and unforgettable experience. This project aims to entertain and inspire viewers of all ages, bridging the gap between childhood innocence and a touch of the unknown. I will seek to encapsulate and explore the intriguing duality of emotions experienced by children, juxtaposing their love for the adorable and the thrilling. The mascot horror genre is new, but I believe it’s roots are entwined in our history of fairy tales and fireside yarns.


  • Research phase leading to development of plan by: wc 26/2
  • Initial script and framework by: wc 4/3
  • Purchase props and commence rehearsals by: 1/4
  • Costume, soundtrack finalised: 20/4
  • Dress rehearsal: wc 22/4
  • Performance 27/4

Resources needed:

  • Space to rehearse
  • Directorial consultation
  • Props likely to include puppets, toys, contact juggling balls
  • Costume enhancements

Technical requirements

  • Stage
  • Mic
  • Ability to play soundtrack
  • Potential simple lighting e.g. darken room, create shadow