Frantic Assembly has launched a new and urgent fundraising campaign today. Ignition, the ground-breaking theatre company’s nationwide free talent development programme for young people aged 16-24, is now at risk.
As arts funding continues to be threatened by the economic impact of Covid-19, Frantic Assembly commissioned Ignition graduate and film-maker Michael Lynch to create a poignant and moving short film about the vital work and legacy already achieved by Ignition since it began in 2008. The film features Ignition graduates from all four nations of the UK.
It is available to view here.
For the past twelve years Ignition has sought out talent in unexpected places; from sports groups to youth centres, connecting with hundreds of young people from areas of low artistic engagement across the country.
Scott Graham, artistic director of Frantic Assembly, said: “Ignition makes a difference; it has and continues to transform lives, open doors and allow young people to reach beyond what they thought they were capable of. It has sparked careers and creativity that are defining our artistic landscape. I could not be more proud of what we achieve together and could not be more convinced that Ignition needs to keep finding those voices.”
Paapa Essiedu, Ignition graduate and actor, said “The ethos, soul and generosity of spirit at the heart of Frantic Assembly was probably the most crucial building block for me as I started my career as an actor. At 18, I’d never done a play. Never seen a Shakespeare. Didn’t know what drama school was. And yet, I knew I wanted to be an actor. Everything that I found initially alienating and unreachable about drama schools and the ‘business’, I found accepting, warm hearted and generous through Frantic. They allowed me to be myself and explore my instincts as a performer in a safe environment. Without doubt, this gave me the confidence I needed to go on and have a go of it in the industry. Forever grateful.”
Each year Frantic brings together a diverse and dynamic group of participants, with a focus on ensuring access for those with social, financial, cultural and geographical barriers to the arts. Ignition seeks to unlock undiscovered creative potential and level up the future of British theatre.
Ignition graduates have gone on to have successful careers with Frantic Assembly, the creative industries and other related fields. However, the programme’s legacy is not just one of vocational success, and this is reflected in Michael Lynch’s short film. Participants forge deep bonds, receive boosts to their confidence and self-esteem, and develop a stronger work ethic through the experience.
Donations can be made via franticassembly.co.uk