Each year The Lyric is one of 11 regional theatres to host Frantic Assembly’s FREE tasters and trials for their Ignition programme. Frantic Ignition facilitate these sessions for young people who face barriers to accessing the arts; visiting both theatre and non-theatre spaces to let young people know that the arts can be for them. They then select 24 young people to join them in London during the last week of October to devise and perform TWO original productions at Brixton House Theatre.
We spoke to two participants who took part in the Ignition programme to ask them all about their experience.Chloe Patterson, Ignition Participant 2022andMark McIllhagga Ignition Participant 2019 and current Peer Mentor
How did you get involved in Ignition?
I got an email from my university tutor about a FREE Tasters workshop at The Lyric Theatre with Frantic and I’d done some Frantic Assembly work in secondary school. I love physical theatre. I always have. And I thought it’s a free workshop, it’s an hour and half on a Sunday - that’s perfect I will go and do that.
What was your tasters like?
I really enjoyed it. I really enjoyed the day. I think there were 28 -30 participants in my taster - you learn a lot from the tasters - that we then ended up using in trials and Ignition. The main thing were asked to do was explore and take risks! The directors were very encouraging. On our taster day they spoke about the trials happening the next weekend and I thought well even if I don’t get it….it’s an extra workshop!
What was the trial like?
It was exciting when I showed up not knowing what to expect but I just trusted we were going to make something as a team. You learn a lot. A lot of what we did during the Trial we used during the week long intensive so I would recommend going to a trial because you will come away with lots of skills.
How would you describe Frantic Assembly’s style of theatre?
Physical, intense. Fun and creative. There were ways they would encourage you to move and you never would have thought about.
It’s not just physical. At times…physical meets dance theatre – but it depends on the moment in the show. – They added writing and other elements.
Tell us all about the Frantic Assembly Ignition experience!
Chloe: I absolutely loved it! Whenever people have asked me about it since I’ve returned I’ve said ‘it’s the best experience of my entire life!’ It was amazing.
At Ignition I ended up working with Gav who facilitated the taster and Linzay who was at my trial. They were able to ask during rehearsals ‘remember that work we did in the trials can we try that again?’ They remembered it all.
What size is the group?
They had two companies of 12. So there were 24 of us staying together and then each team had 2 directors, an assistant director, a sound designer, lighting designer and peer mentor for each group. The peer mentor looks after you and checks in how you are doing the whole week.
What is the week in London like?
It’s extremely intense. After travelling on the first day you get to meet everyone from all across the UK in one room. I got on really well with my roommate who was the other company. We were mixed up so you were working with different people during the day and coming back to mix with people outside your company in the evening. They are long days 10am – 6pm but later in the week we would be in rehearsals until 10am until 9pm or after the show.
Tell us about the work….
The company created two full one hour shows completely in one week. The music, lighting - even the entire script were all designed and created within that one week. We went in with one word – sleep. And we got that word on the first day of rehearsals.
If you could describe the experience in one word what would it be?
Advice to any hopefuls who may apply next year?
Just show up and be ready to try. I wouldn’t say be overly prepared – they don’t want you to know absolutely everything. They want to see you learn and try something new. Their motto is ‘always forward never back’ which I like! Any time during the week when we felt we had made mistakes the facilitators would often say ‘we like that!’ and then we’d incorporate it in to the show. They used nearly every ‘mistake’ we made!
They’re not looking for perfect – they look for passion.
Experience as a peer mentor what’s that like?
Six months after Ignition they invite participants back for Reignite. It’s a workshop weekend where they provide you with a lot of opportunities. I then became involved in peer mentorage – I found myself having an interest in running workshops and stepping up from participating and looking at teaching. The peer metoring was a brilliant way to do that. It’s a great way to get a perspective on running a workshop. Thinking about objectives and what you can achieve.
Your advice would be keep in touch with Frantic after your course?
Yes they are so supportive, giving advice and opportunities.
To learn more about Frantic Assembly Ignition and register interest, visit: