Late 1980s early 1990s
Nitty Gritty Jugglers, was formed by Alex Marshall in 1987. When he returned to Oz, a few years later he left contracts (workshops & Performance) that were taken up by Simon Schofield & Tony Rogerson, Karen Bell & Michelle Weaver. Chandra Nauth-Misir relates that Simon & Tony performed “beautifully well-timed & choreographed cabaret acts”. Karen, quoted in a contemporary compendium of arts organsiations, said (of Weaver & Bell) “wish to promote non-racist, non-sexist circus/theatre…. with a special emphasis on woman’s physicality and women in performance’. Simon and Tony went on to form the Ugly Jugglers, of Newcastle. Most of these partnerships were short lived and fluid.
The Ugly Jugglers was a trail blazer, as one of the UK’s early juggling retail outlets and a focus point for New Circus in the NE. Michelle & Chandra worked in the shop. The shop, which was widely advertised in the juggling magazines, and had the most extensive range of equipment, theatrical Make-Up, was notable for the huge book section. This was due to Tony’s interest in performance books some of which they published. Ugly Jugglers advertised in all the juggling magazines and offered a personal service & fast turn around for all customers World-wide. Later Simon went on to create Heir of Insanity with Julia Dixey, an aerial & street theatre/walkabout company, which started in 1995. Karen went onto form Eezy Trapeezy/Bell & Bullock in 1991, Michelle went on to run Slack dance in the 1990s, be head of aerial at Circus Space and in 2007 formed Stumble Dance Circus and Tony went on to train with Gaullier and perform with Kaos Theatre. Chandra went on to work in Belfast and formed The Unlikely Twins act with Paul Quate.