Editorial & Commercial Photographer

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Skip Rap : Hip Hop in a Bradford Junk Yard

Bringing street style performance to the theatre stage

Alan ‘Cool’ Clay has had a career as an artist, performer, stand up comedian and rapper for 20 years, he’s successfully toured both nationally and internationally, yet still knows how it feels to be treated like trash. Alan has a learning disability, which has shaped his life, views and the art he creates. Dealing with a difficult background growing up and his contrasting experiences of success and hardship, ‘Skip Rap’, his debut solo theatre show, is a raw and deeply personal performance moving from his childhood challenges to his present emotional longings. An energetic fusion of hip hop, theatrical dramatics and projected imagery, Skip Rap boldly confronts us with Alan’s experiences of prejudice, poverty and grief, delivered with his signature humour and flair. 

Skip Rap was created in collaboration with MC Testament (who joins Alan on stage) and Baba Israel, directed by Iain Bloomfield and supported by Mind The Gap studios in Bradford. Alan received funding support from the National Lottery Fund and Arts Council England to bring Skip Rap to the stage and take his show on tour.

I was commissioned by Mind The Gap to photograph Alan ‘Cool’ Clay and Testament on location at Crossley Evans scrap yard in Shipley, Bradford. It was a teeth-chattering chilly February evening but everyone braved the cold to create these editorial photos which were used to promote the show. The guys from Crossley Evans were so helpful and accommodating, even offering to operate one of their giant magnetic trash collector cranes so we could include it in some of the shots. Thanks guys! 

Alan 'Cool' Clay (Right) and MC Testament (Left) for the show Skip Rap

Alan 'Cool' Clay (Right) and MC Testament (Left) for the show Skip Rap

Alan 'Cool' Clay (Right) and MC Testament (Left) for the show Skip Rap

Alan 'Cool' Clay (Right) and MC Testament (Left) for the show Skip Rap

Alan 'Cool' Clay (Right) and MC Testament (Left) for the show Skip Rap

Alan 'Cool' Clay (Right) and MC Testament (Left) for the show Skip Rap

Alan 'Cool' Clay for the show Skip Rap

Alan 'Cool' Clay for the show Skip Rap

Skip Rap promo poster created by Mind The Gap in Bradford

And of course...

 Behind the scenes test shot with Hannah Woods, Producer for the show Skip Rap rocking the high-fashion, high-viz and hard hat. Safety first!

Behind the scenes test shot with Hannah Woods, Producer for the show Skip Rap rocking the high-fashion, high-viz and hard hat. Safety first!