Lara Clifton

Very important people

Some of the talented people that Lara has been lucky enough to collaborate with across a number of projects...

Sarah Ainslie

Sarah Ainslie is a photographer whose keen interest in the lesser known corners of London has inspired her work for over 30 years. Her unassuming approach immediately puts her subjects at ease and often makes them forget that she is present, resulting in pictures that reveal intimate stories. Her innate curiosity finds her seeking out places that photographers might not normally be allowed in or else don’t think of going to.

Sarah has been resident photographer for theatre company Complicite since 1997, recording the rehearsal process and performances. Lara met Sarah when together they embarked on ‘Baby Oil and Ice’ and she has ever since been a massive presence in connection to Lara’s work, from being the main photographer at the Whoopee Club up to documenting Carnesky’s Tarot Drome.

Since 2000 Sarah has been facilitating photography workshops for elders, young people, teenage mums and the homeless with Four Corners Film and Photography, All Change, Photoworks and Blackfriars Settlement. Exploring ways of helping people to to tell their stories and is a contributing photographer on the Spitalfields Life blog. Exhibitions have included work on Arsenal football supporters, working women in Hackney, Smithfield Market, Spitalfields and Shoreditch at night.

Marisa Carnesky

Marisa Carnesky portrait

Olivier Award winning Marisa Carnesky is an artist committed to creating high-quality interdisciplinary performance events with an emphasis on blurring the line between audience and performance. She has a strong reputation for actualising imagined landscapes where live-art and experimental theatre combine with popular entertainment forms, to create immersive spectaculars.

Marisa has been making performance work for over twenty years. Past solo shows include Jewess Tattooess (toured internationally including ICA, BAC, Riverside Studios, LA International Festival, Scena Contemporania Madrid, City Of Women Slovenia, Acco Festival Israel) and past collaborations include the Oliver Award winning Cest Duckie (touring includes Barbican, PS122 New York, Philippe Starck Building Tokyo).

Marisa is a massively influential presence across Britain and the States’ underground theatre, cabaret, burlesque and strip scene — attending one of Marisa’s Dragon Lady shows at the Raymond Review bar was a life-changer for Lara.

Portrait by David Pickens.

Tamara Tyrer

Tamara Tyrer portrait

Tamara Tyrer was the co-creator and creative director of Whoopee. She is a practising artist, specialising in film, video, dance and performance. She has exhibited her work at amoungst others The National Gallery, The Courtauld, ICA and with The House of Fairy Tales. As part of her artistic practice with Whoopee she directed a large -scale performance piece, 'Nymphaeum' at The Porchester Baths featuring thirty dancers and synchronised swimmers, a dance and burlesque piece, 'Carnaval', at The Blackpool Tower Ballroom and The Thames Festival, and for the V&A and ICA. Her work centres around notions of femininitity, interiority and sensuality. Tamara is currently doing a practice-based PhD at Central St Martins.

Natacha Poledica

Natacha Poledica portrait

Natacha and Lara have worked together for over nine years, starting at the Whoopee Club’s 2004 Edinburgh show where she expertly stage-managed the chaotic two-week sell-out run. Natacha has worked on every Whoopee Club event since, as well as with Lara on Hip Hip and the Tournament of Tease. Her ability to keep the troops’ spirits high and the productions on track make her a unique and much relied upon asset to any production.

With 10 years of experience managing live art and multi-media performance events for the likes of Carnesky Productions, Duckie, LIFT, SPILL and Tai Shani; Natasha currently works freelance as a company manager, project manager or producer.

Portrait by Sin Bozkurt.

Simon Hearn

Simon Hearn portrait

Simon started DJing around 1992, previously he’d been a bit of a face around the London punk/indie scene without any purpose except being a dandy, gaining the name ‘punkboy’. Due to being bored with the grunge the mood was right for a change, so with as many records as hairs on his head, he started his first club in Islington called ‘Swank’, progressing quickly from that to playing at Blow Up (the epicentre of Britpop), and Popscene (the UK’s biggest weekly Britpop club). After Britpop died, he co-ran Uncle Bob’s Wedding Reception, a music industry night out, the first eclectic night where you would hear Kylie Minogue next to the Dead Kennedys. He started to play across all the UK festivals and was part of the Tip Top team that made radio shows for BBC Radio 1 and TV shows for Channel 4, Punkboy was broadcast to the nation. He also held the position of on-air dance choreographer during his time at Radio 1.

After being approached in 2002 to DJ at the Whoopee Club on their second event, he quickly became their main DJ. His of mixing old rockabilly, punk rock, neo-garage rock and electroclash became as much a part of these memorable nights as the extravagant stage shows.

These days Simon is a burlesque performer, a trained tailor and part of the Time Out-nominated, New York-style cabaret night Sleaze with Mat Fraser and Trixie Malicious, as well as a regular Torture Garden DJ.