Who’s Steering this Ship…?!

About Tit for Tat

Tit for Tat is an unusual juggling company that believes in celebrating the ordinary. We take ordinary objects, objectives and scenes, and we explore every nook and cranny until we make them extra-ordinary. We believe in finding the most exciting and, more often than not, the most difficult way of getting from A to B. Even when undertaking simple tasks such as making a cup of tea, painting a wall, or changing a lightbulb.

Tit for Tat has performed pieces both small and large all across the UK. Whether its making chips for the public in a blur of ketchup and salt, launching furniture halfway across the stage, or becoming chaotically tangled within our own braces – Tit for Tat brings a special element of heartfelt complicity and comedic near-calamity to all of their performances.

Ryman and Lou

Our Team

Ryan Murphy
Managing Director
Artistic Director

Maia Ayling
Operations Manager
Artistic Director

Max Gabarre-Grindrod
Associate Artist

Truan Jay Mathias
Associate Artist

Charles Brockbank
Associate Artist

Harry Kingscott
Associate Artist

Tom Barker
Associate Artist

Company History

Louis and Ryan met in 2010 at Circomedia; England’s academy for Contemporary Circus and Physical Performance. There they discovered a shared interest in the eccentric and the absurd; applying juggling theory to dustbin lids, clothes racks, and shopping trolleys to create surreal and unconventional spectacle.

After working internationally as jugglers, Ryan and Louis re-met in 2012 and began working as cabaret double act “Ryman & Lou”. They relished in bringing their work to all manner of spaces, incorporating the joy of low ceilings, narrow corridors, or unstable flooring into all of their comedy and audience interaction.

In 2013, with support from Arts Council England, they created their first full-scale show; “The Most Dangerous Cup Of Tea In The World”, and began working as Tit for Tat. Over 3 years they enjoyed delivering a UK-Wide celebration of absurdity, thanks to the support of many, and particularly Kate Hazel (Winchester Hat Fair), Matthew Feerick (Wet Picnic), and Matt Pang (Pangottic) for their sage insights, wild enthusiasm and bemused patience.

In 2018, Maia joined the Tit for Tat team, collaborating with Ryan to launch a new outdoor show “Books!”, which toured over the UK when public events resumed after the pandemic lockdowns. Together, they developed Tit for Tat to begin working with more artists and larger teams; creating and touring circus theatre shows all over the UK and EU.

In 2023, Tit for Tat found a home in Bristol; taking over the voluntary management of collective art space ‘Desperate Studios’ – previously run by the Desperate Men. Through this, Tit for Tat have taken up the legacy of supporting artists through affordable space and storage solutions; helping to sustain new projects.

Tit for Tat continues to work with new artists and in new collaborations to improve the scope, quality and scale of its work. Now working across the outdoors as well as indoor theatres, we look forwards to the many new ridiculous ideas yet to come.

People First

We provide an all-inclusive sense of community fun; bringing people together in local streets through engaging absurdity and dynamic visual spectacle.

Quality of Work

We take our silliness very seriously – delivering professional high-octane entertainment to transform public spaces.

Art for All

We are proud of what we do, and feel a part of the wider arts sector; valuing interconnectivity between communities and artists to create work that audiences really engage with.