What is Feat of Clay?
Feat of Clay is a UK based international arts consultancy led by Paul Clay, supporting and connecting arts organisations globally, with specific expertise in large-scale, cross art form work.
Paul helps companies across the world negotiate new territories for their work, makes connections and effects introductions, creates and supports international presentation and provides an international perspective and cross border support.
Alongside this, Paul has developed, and delivers, bespoke masterclasses and mentoring support centred on international partnership, presentation, and touring.
Paul’s background in large-scale technical production and producing, along with executive roles at a number of UK arts organisations, provides him with a broad, informed (and unique) background to support, advise and deliver across a range of areas including building projects and tour planning.
Current Clients Include
Manchester International Festival
Paul continues to support the Factory and MIF’s extensive and wide-ranging work internationally.
Powerhouse Museums Sydney, Australia
Paul is working to support Powerhouse in the creation of their amazing new home, helping to ensure that building and the programme are perfectly aligned. Powerhouse Parramatta will be a transformational cultural precinct, the largest museum in New South Wales with over 18,000 sqm of exhibition and public space, attracting 2 million visitors a year.
Dreammachine Worldwide UK
Paul is working with the team to help realise their global touring ambitions.
Paul is helping to foreground the visual art elements of Squidsoup’s work to better represent their work globally and provide connection to new territories.
Previous work & voluntary posts
2012 – 2023 // Manchester International Festival. Freelance and permanent variously as Executive Producer and International Director. Responsible for the development and management of all of the company’s international work including creating and managing a team to support the company’s global ambitions
2011 – 2015 // During this period Paul also undertook a number of additional freelance roles, including; Projects Director for KT Wong, touring large scale performance work into and out of China; Interim Executive Producer for the development team for Hull City of Culture 2017; Interim Executive Director of Library Theatre Company, leading on the merger of Library with an ‘arts cinema’, Cornerhouse, to create the new company (and new venue) called HOME; and Interim Producer for Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse
2007 – 2010 // Executive Director of Royal Exchange Theatre
2004 – 2007 // Production and Technical Director for Theatre Royal Plymouth
2001 – 2004 // Head of Production for English National Opera
1999 – 2001 // Production Manager for Royal Exchange Theatre Manchester
1994 – 1999 // Head of Production/Technical Director for Almeida Theatre London
1990 – 1994 // Touring Stage and Production Management for a range of companies including Cheek By Jowl, nationally and internationally
2013 – 2023 // RADA – Board Member and member of the Finance and Audit Committee
2015 – 2022 // Hull Truck Theatre – Board Member
Paul’s experience in the arts spans more than thirty years working in executive, producing, and technical positions for companies such as The Almeida Theatre London, where in the 1990s he production managed the company work, including a number of West End and Broadway transfers and International tours; Plymouth Theatre Royal (creating large scale musicals for touring and the West End), English National Opera (leading the production team) and the Royal Exchange Manchester (as Executive Director).
Paul joined Manchester International Festival in 2012 as Executive Producer where in addition to MIF’s own productions, he looked after their international work. He also managed other major works not seen at the Festival including the world tours of ‘Bjork Digital’ for the artist Bjork which opened in Sydney and toured to 17 countries (playing to 350,000 ticket buyers, a number not really seen for VR experiences at the time) and River of Fundament for Matthew Barney, which opened in New York and toured to 14 countries, including Greenland!
During Paul’s time at MIF, its work has been seen by more than 1.7m people globally and it regularly works with partner organisations from more than 35 countries. The only continent that Paul has yet to present work on is Antarctica, but he remains optimistic…
In 2018 Paul created a four day masterclass in International Producing for West Kowloon Cultural District Hong Kong. He has subsequently gone on to deliver this across a range of territories including Taiwan, Australia, Russia, Canada and South Africa.
After 30 years of producing and presenting work around the world, Paul has a great number of anecdotes, so it’s best not to get him started!
When not telling anecdotes, Paul can usually be found sailing on his boat, Lady Em (generally in the rain).
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