Words and Photography by Greg Bailey
We meet Mr Harry Clayton-Wright, the provocative performer and artist who isn't shy to show you everything there is to know about Harry.
How would you describe yourself?
I am a performer, producer, multimedia artist, entertainer and Internet provocateur. I make things. Be it live art, comedy, cabaret, theatre, video work, event culture. I like to dabble. My work is almost always explicitly queer. Plus, I help other people make things too.
What inspires you?
Brutalist architecture. Flowers. Seaside resorts. Destroying toxic masculinity. The colour pink. Dick.
Where are you from?
I was born in Nottingham. We moved to Blackpool when I was eight years old. I trained in performing arts there, which I think explains a lot. One of my teachers was the voice of the receptionist in Theme Hospital. After that I went to London at the age of eighteen and lived there for a year. Then I pretty much became quite nomadic with living out suitcases, working and touring for years. But I moved to Brighton in March for a much more stable way of life.
Tell us about some of your most interesting jobs.
I worked as a half-dead eastern European woman on a ghost train in Blackpool for four years. Such an amazing show, Carnesky’s Ghost Train, sadly it isn’t there anymore, but I’ve got loads of amazing footage that I plan to turn into something special one day. I’ve been a mascot for the Sea Life Centre, a Maitre D at a luxury gift wrap concession in Harrods, a host of a Blues Brothers experience show at Butlins in Skegness when I was eighteen. I’ve been flown to Walt Disney Animation Studios to interview the directors of The Little Mermaid. I was a game show contestant on Deal or No Deal back in 2009 - winning twelve thousand pounds - and later a glamorous assistant in a game show that tours the world (Miss Behave’s Gameshow). There has been no clear logic behind my career trajectory. I don’t tend to question it as it’s much more fun to see what’ll happen.
We need to talk about your Tumblr. You’re quite the online exhibitionist.
I like sharing the many aspects of and interests in my life. Be it personal, professional, or sexual. All equal, all in one place, which is why I love Tumblr because they have different censorship rules from other social media sites. I like being a queer person having fun with sex. I guess it’s felt like therapy to me. I like being able to share my body and my sexuality with no shame attached whatsoever. It’s been huge for me to come to terms with that. I really like that people find strength or courage or inspiration or humour in the things I post. However it isn’t to everyone’s taste, but that’s completely fine because, selfishly, I’m doing this for me and because I want to share those aspects of my life. I feel like I’ve made a lot of amazing friends through Tumblr, yet I have also found out that are people in my life who aren’t really on board with that kind of stuff. While that’s been interesting, I’ve flourished so much in such a short space of time and I do feel the happiest and most confident I have been in a such a long while.
Did you suffer with depression?
This year I’ve been much happier. Being on the other side of a massive funk, which I was probably in for about eighteen months, life just feels way more for joyful. Brighton has been great for my happiness. As has becoming sober. Being around amazing people, walking by the sea every day, reducing the amount of pressure I put on myself. Next month it’ll be one year since I last had a drink. It had got to a point where I found myself drinking more and more, becoming this party animal. Admitting to myself I had a problem with consumption was actually a massive weight lifted. I do sometimes worry that not drinking alienates me a little, but I just have to make the effort to be social and deal with it. Plus growth in other areas of my life has been strong and the love and respect I now have for myself consistently validates my decision.
Are you single at the moment?
Yes. *waves at the nice people reading this article*
Describe your ideal partner.
They would have a great sense of humour, be super chill (because I could be horizontal forever), tactile, honest and enjoy exploring their sexuality. I’d very much like to be in a polyamorous relationship. That’d be great. While I do respect emotional monogamy, sexually I would never want to deprive another person of experiencing the joy of playing with others. My only stipulation would be, if I’m not there, please take sexy photos and videos so I can enjoy it all at a later date. I guess I’d just like things to be quite open and loving and full of laughter and cuddles in my bed. Also, please be a good cook. Apply within (my butt).
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Wiser. Hopefully with some semblance of financial stability. Don’t get me wrong, being an artist is a really exciting way of life, but not knowing where the next meal will come from is pretty stressful sometimes. Confession, I have used Grindr to find men who will make me sandwiches. But back to your question, I’d like to continue challenging myself artistically, that’s my main professional goal. Sharing my life with amazing, sexy, funny, loving, wonderful people. Plus dogs. All of the dogs. I need to be financially sorted so I can have some dogs.
I’m writing and developing a new show. My first solo theatre venture. There’s a lot of work going on behind the scenes to make that happen. I’m feeling really inspired and creative at the moment, so that’s been lovely. It’s nice to have the confidence and self-belief to finally commit to doing that. I’d also like to work on some more interesting artistic collaborations. Always open to making cool stuff with people. But I just need to tidy my room first.