The Mesmerist

by Northern Rascals

"no constructive criticism was required simply because it was pure brilliance from the very beginning, right through to the end"

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Set in the wondrously weird world of ‘The Mesmerist’, this family-friendly production takes the audience away on a magical journey of adventure, mischief and friendship. Met by two innocent, wide-eyed creatures, Alf and Annie, we witness the beginnings of a chaotic partnership that tests the pairs need for support in their lives.

Described as 'visually stunning', ‘The Mesmerist’ uses a mixture of dance, clowning and stunning optical illusions to create a ‘spellbindingly absurd’ world that tackles important issues of seeking solace in others and of reaching out to spark new light in each other’s lives.

‘The Mesmerist’ is supported by Arts Council England and SLAP in conjunction with the York and North Yorkshire Dance Hub, York Dance Space, Yorkshire Dance and York St John University.

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Tour Dates

23 November - Cambridge


23 Feb - York Theatre Royal



Co-Artistic Director & Performer Anna Holmes

Co-Artistic Director & Performer Sam Ford

Production Management Northern Rascals

Technical Management Barnaby Booth

Lighting Design Barnaby Booth

Costume Design Jessie McEwan

Original Music Jonathon Deering

Dramaturgical Mentor Geoffrey Colman

With special thanks to collaborators Elly Welford, Katy Hewison and Kathryn Spence.

Check out this review of ‘The Mesmerist’ by Unknown Mag here:

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Tails of The Mesmerist



10 October - Light Night Leeds

11th October - Light Night Leeds

19th November - Cambridge

Past Dates

22 June - Didsbury Arts Festival

23rd June - Didsbury Arts Festival

29 June - Didsbury Arts Festival

30 June - Didsbury Arts Festival

27 July - Deershed Festival


6 APRIL - Collide, Leeds City Centre 11-3pm

21 APRIL - Emerge Fest, Cannock Chase, 10-4pm  

1 JULY - Street Sunday, Hebden Bridge Arts Festival,


The ‘Tails of The Mesmerist’ is the latest chapter in the story of Northern Rascals’ original dance theatre work ‘The Mesmerist’. This version is created for outdoor settings alongside local communities with the hope of enriching public spaces with the magic of storytelling.

Tales of The Mesmerist whisks the audience away into another world, an enchanted forest where creatures wander, appearing from the shadows to take you on a magical journey of adventure, mischief and friendship. Here in the land of the ‘spellbindingly absurd’, we meet two wide-eyed creatures whose stability is rocked when a new Mesmerist wanders into their lives…

At times comedic, at others poignant, this family-friendly show uses a mixture of dance, clowning and stunning optical illusions to explore the importance of friendship, meeting new friends and accepting the change they bring into our everyday lives.

This short, low-tech version can be performed in a variety of outdoor settings. Perfect for village, town and city festivals, this duet is a comedic take on the piece as we follow three mischievous creatures as they play their secret game in and around the streets and the people that walk amongst them. For bookings please contact us on:

Photo & Videography Credit: Josh Hawkins