Urgent fundraising to save flagship Ignition programme

Published: 22 November 2020
Reporter: Sandra Giorgetti

Frantic Assembly - Ignition Fundraising Campaign

Frantic Assembly's Ignition programme, which has been running since 2008, is under threat due to the economic impact of COVID-19.

The initiative for talent development amongst 16- to 24-year-olds from areas of low artistic engagement has worked with hundreds of young people with limited access to the arts, releasing undiscovered creative potential and changing lives.

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.”

Frantic Assembly's work includes the UK tours of I Think We Are Alone, The Unreturning and Fatherland seen at Manchester International Festival 2017 and LiFT Festival 2018. They are also movement directors on the National Theatre production The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

The company has launched an urgent fundraising campaign to save Ignition and released a short film by Ignition graduate and film-maker Michael Lynch about the work and legacy of the programme featuring Ignition graduates from all four nations of the UK.

Donations can be made via the Frantic Assembly web site and by text with major donors invited to contact Frantic Assembly executive director Kerry Whelan ([email protected]).