The Backpack Ensemble are heading to Leicester for the National Student Drama Festival (NSDF) through support from New Diorama Theatre, Lincoln Performing Arts Centre and a successful crowdfunding campaign.
The Backpack Ensemble were able to enter through New Diorama Theatre’s Pickles Fund and have been further supported financially by the venue and East Midlands based Lincoln Performing Arts Centre. Artistic Director of Lincoln Performing Arts Centre, Craig Morrow said that the company’s “commitment to professional development from the start, combined with their astute engagement with the arts industry, taking the time to build their profile and adopt sustainable touring models, stands them in good stead to grow into a successful contemporary theatre company”. Company producer, James Ashfield said that “this support early on in the company’s life is essential for future sustainability and the company are grateful for this support prior to appearing at the festival”.
Their show, The Search for a Black-browed Albatross has appeared at Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Lincoln Performing Arts Centre and was selected for Camden Peoples Theatre’s flagship festival Sprint where it received a brilliant response. The show centralises around Charlie; a university graduate who sets out to find one last bird missing from her father’s old bird watching lifelist. The company use a mixture of shadow puppetry, narration and live music in order to tell this story.
This year’s festival features the likes of The Backpack Ensemble, Poltergeist Theatre and Colla Voce Theatre Company with workshops being led by Middle Child, Chris Thorpe, Milk Presents and many more. Past alumni includes the likes of Walrus Theatre, RashDash and Selina Thompson.