Twenty-five years of Frantic Assembly

Published: 9 June 2019
Reporter: Sandra Giorgetti

Award winning theatre company Frantic Assembly celebrates its 25th birthday.

In the year ahead, it will present the world première of I Think We Are Alone, written by Sally Abbott and co-directed by Kathy Burke and Frantic artistic director and co-founder Scott Graham.

The company will also headline Latitude with new show Sometimes Thinking written by Phil Porter and featuring a curated soundtrack from music group Underworld, to be co-directed by Graham and the company’s associate director, Simon Pittman.

Building on the success of its Ignition programme for young men aged 16 to 20, it now launches the free training programme for women, with the participants' first public performance during the weekend takeover of the National Theatre River Stage. The company continues its Learn and Train programme nationally and internationally.

Artistic Director Scott Graham said, “this is an incredibly exciting time. Looking back on 25 years makes my head spin! How on Earth did that happen? But by far the most thrilling bit is the anticipation of what is still to come! I will be collaborating with brilliant artists to make work that is vital and exhilarating and seeking new voices to ensure a theatre that is robust, relevant and powerful.

"I leapt at the opportunity to work with Kathy Burke, a woman whose opinion and work I hold in the highest regard. Our collaboration will be a dialogue into the unknown and is all the more exciting for it! There is much to learn and I cannot wait.

"Within Frantic Assembly, we have a motto of Always Forward, Never Backwards. This year, we will allow ourselves a brief indulgence of looking back as we celebrate 25 years of leading the way in making new work, new writing, movement direction, direction through movement, workshops and training, etc. but that focus will very quickly move to an exciting future of bold and ambitious projects to take the company to the next level.”

In addition to moving its offices to London's Somerset House, there will be a new web site, The Frantic Podcast and The Assembly, a creative think-tank to discuss the vision and ambition of the company. Previous collaborators will be invited to contribute to the archival project involving a Frantic playlist, a book and a film.

Recent Frantic Assembly productions include The Unreturning, Fatherland and Things I Know To Be True.

You can see Frantic Assembly in their 25th anniversary year at:

  • Latitude Festival in July: Sometimes Thinking
  • National Theatre River Stage London in July: various events across the weekend
  • I Think We Are Alone touring in 2020 to Theatre Royal Plymouth, Liverpool Playhouse, King’s Theatre Edinburgh, Theatre Royal Stratford East, Curve Theatre Leicester, Nuffield Southampton Theatres, Northern Stage Newcastle, Bristol Old Vic, Oxford Playhouse and The Lowry Salford.

I Think We Are Alone is a Frantic Assembly and Theatre Royal Plymouth Production, co-produced with Curve.