In 2020 we asked past graduates to share some aspect of the work that they are achieving now. Below is a selection of films received that demonstrate the breadth of creativity and the importance of Ignition in helping these young people find a way into one of the UK’s most successful industries. Their presence and influence continues to grow. They inspire other young people from similar backgrounds to aspire, get involved, be seen, be heard.

This is why we are fighting to save Ignition.

Luisa Brandini

Names: Luisa Brandini

Graduated: 2019

"Ignition made me wake up with a feeling of excitement I had rarely felt before, even though I was so sore it was then really hard to get out of bed.

Ignition made me realize that sometimes just being yourself is more than enough."

Luisa is a London South Bank University Drama and Performance graduate. She worked on a project in the summer for a music video titled Giudizi Universali.

Eva Burton

Name: Eva Burton

Year Graduated: 2019

"Ignition gave me confidence in myself and (especially my body language) in my acting work. It gave me the confidence to take risks.

I am so confident in my tall height frame now and my body movement has improved so much."

Eva is an actor and the stills above are from short films made with the MET Film School – Don’t Tell Dad and Because of the Kids.

Matthew Churcher

Name: Matthew Churcher

Year Graduated: 2011

"Ignition helped show me the path into Devised theatre and gave me the confidence to create my own material.

The joy of playing with ideas, bouncing off others' energy, and embracing the challenge."

Matthew Churcher is an actor and musician working across theatre and film and has appeared in War Horse, Jane Eyre and Peter Pan at The National Theatre.

This video is a cover of a song with him playing all the instruments, created during the pandemic.

More details on his website here.

Sam Ford

Name: Sam Ford

Year Graduated: 2012

"Ignition introduced me to physical theatre and opened my view of what else can go on stage not just dance or theatre but both. Since Ignition I have never lost my passion for blending many different art forms and creation should always come from everyone in the room not just the director or choreographer. All of this is carried into my practice with my own company Northern Rascals.

One of the most important things I have learnt from Ignition is collaboration is the key to a successful and meaningful creation. "

Sam now runs his own company Northern Rascals a multi-disciplinary performance company based in Yorkshire - Northern Rascals

Jared Garfield

Name: Jared Garfield

Year Graduated: 2009

"Ignition gave me more confidence and self belief around the time I was auditioning for Drama Schools.

To trust and enjoy the process of creating work!"

Jared is an actor and played George in Frantic Assembly's 2018 production of The Unreturning. He is also know for his role as Nathan Nightingale in Hollyoaks.

Phone Romance is a short dance film created, choreographed and performed by Jared for Canvas Arts.

David Gilbert

Name: David Gilbert

Year Graduated: 2008

David is a Director and Movement Director and has been working as a Frantic Assembly Practitioner, delivering workshops and training for the company across the UK since 2018.

In 2019 David took The Young Vic's Parallel production of The Convert to Zimbabwe

He is currently working with Talawa Theatre Company on the short film above, Tales from the Front Line.

Ankit Giri

Name: Ankit Giri

Year Graduated: 2013

"Ignition gave me confidence in myself that I could be in the creative arts and did have a place here. Gave me my first experience of working with a proper ensemble devising and performing a show under pressure was not easy but it gave me the experience I needed to open few doors. After Ignition I went to East 15 to study Physical Theatre.

I learnt about devising my own work, the importance of teamwork, also learnt to trust and not hold myself back."

Ankit is as an actor and has performed with Frantic Assembly in Fatherland. This is a short film he made with Chris Stone Films.

Sean Hollands

Name: Sean Hollands

Year Graduated: 2012

“Without Ignition and Frantic I probably wouldn't be working in theatre as I wouldn't have had the network to get me started.”

Ignition taught me just because something isn't working, doesn't mean it has no purpose. Everything you do and try leads to discoveries. Those discoveries then fuel what you then go on to create. We can adapt, change, and improve everything, it's just a matter of changing perspective.

I'm not sure I can over emphasise the impact of Ignition and Frantic. I wouldn't be in theatre. I wouldn't have met many of my friends. I wouldn't have worked on the incredible projects I've been fortunate enough to work on. I wouldn't have an Olivier award nomination. Ignition is the root of all of this and more, and I hope it continues to do the same for many more young people.”

Sean Hollands is a freelance Director and Movement Director and the Artistic Director of his own company, Fable Workshop. Sean has been a Frantic Assembly Practitioner, delivering workshops and training for the company across the UK and around the world, since 2014.

Twitter: @Fable_Workshop

Insta: @fable.workshop.theatre

Stefan Janik

Name: Stefan Janik

Year Graduated: 2014

"Ignition has had a massive impact on my musical outlook in general; especially when it comes to music in theatre and other expressive contexts. I’ll always remember how crucial a role Scott's and Neil's playlists played in devising a piece of work... this process of working with music from the outset has deeply influenced my musical collaborations and general perspective on performance.

I learned a lot about how physical and devised theatre works. How it is all encompassing regarding lighting, music and action and how this works to create a truly immersive experience. This was really interesting. But I also learned about collaboration with other people, how to work together to create something - rather than working alone which has always been the case for me musically. Overall, I gained communication skills and a deeper understanding of how the theatre world works, to which I never would have otherwise been exposed"

Stefan is a composer and is currently based in Italy where he is studying classical composition. He writes for orchestra and what not - whilst cooking up big beats with his TR8 drum machine on the terrace. This is a piano solo Stefan created titled For a Family.

Perry Johnson

Name: Perry Johnson

Year Graduated: 2012

"Ignition is what made me apply for dance at college and I know have a HNC in dance. Ignition made me open my eyes of what was possible with my body and to not just stay in one box. Ignition made me want to become much more versatile in my movement and gave me the understanding of the impact and the stories movement can tell.

Ignition made me strive to give people opportunities, I believe there are too many of us that don’t feel like we’re good enough to achieve or feel special enough to be chosen out of a crowd. I find it very fulfilling knowing I get to be the person to facilitate a positive space for someone and to build on the individuals ambitions and self confidence, to help them believe that they are good enough and very capable of reaching their ambitions”

Perry is a Dancer and Teacher and has been working as a Frantic Assembly Practitioner, delivering workshops and training for the company across the UK and around the world, since 2015.

Last year Perry worked on a film for the Freedom Project - a remake of George Michael’s song Freedom.

Instagram: @pezJohnson

Ali J. Kerr

Name: Ali J. Kerr

Year Graduated: 2016

“Ignition taught me how the way that I move is directly mirrored by the way that I speak. How I can show my staggered choices of vocabulary in a better way than in my head, With my neuro-diverse brain not always making the most sense. In short, they showed me a way to clear my thoughts, put them down on a page, and now I'm here as a result."

Alistair is a performer and poet and runs his own theatre company, Shouting At Mountains, with fellow Ignition graduate Ben Taylor-Muir.

This poem in the film is written by Ali and is called Secrets. It is about love and how it encapsulates every fiber of your being.

Michael Lynch

Name: Michael Lynch

Year Graduated: 2015

"I’m incredibly lucky to be continuously supported by my Frantic Family, as a filmmaker and a performer. Ignition showed me how powerful trust, and a collective work ethic can be. Ignition pushed me as an individual and artist, learning how to create electric and honest theatre"

Michael went on to study at East 15 Acting School, graduating in 2019 and is Artistic Director of his own theatre company Project Lockout. He is Frantic Assembly's Associate Film Maker, creating and editing much of our digital output, including our #WeAreIgnition films.

As if more proof was needed of his talents, Michael was recently named as winner of the #SamsungSpotlight competition, judged by Paul Mescal.

Spencer Mason

Name: Spencer Mason

Year Graduated: 2017

"Ignition was the first time I found a way to connect with my body and find a way to ground my creativity. Without Ignition, I would never have gained the confidence to write what I write or experiment in all of the projects I've worked on for the past few years. 

Ignition taught me that vulnerability and intimacy between men is more than a myth, and owning those feelings can bring unbounded potential. Even when you're working alone, Ignition gave me a sense of power in working in supportive and encouraging teams - and having been lucky enough to peer mentor the intensive, I've seen those bonds bring creativity to its full potential and beautiful artistic relationships blossom - the hard work, versatility and diversity in Ignition makes 12 people feel like 100."

Spencer is a creative and musician. The teaser above is for his next musical release Prometheus, under GhostStory, which can be found on all streaming platforms.

Felipe Pacheco

Name: Felipe Pacheco

Year Graduated: 2017

"Ignition gave me the confidence to dig deep and pursue a career in performance. It's really humbling when you realise how many people know about and admire Ignition in the industry. It's always something that I am asked about and I feel really proud to say I am an Ignition  graduate in  thos e conversations.

Ignition opened my eyes to a new, incredibly  accessible way of making theatre. It gave me an amazing family, and taught me really important things that I carry with me in my career. Things like how to take care of my body during intense rehearsals, or how to work quickly but to a high quality. That sort of training is just invaluable both within and outside of theatre."

Felipe Pacheco is an actor and has been working as a Frantic Assembly Practitioner, delivering workshops and training for the company across the UK, since 2019.

The teaser above is from a series of short movement films made last year, in collaboration with poet Willie Gowans.

Max Revell

Name: Max Revell

Year Graduated: 2015

“Before Ignition I didn't really see dance as a viable career option. It was my passion and I loved it but I didn't believe in the possibility of moving and creating as a way of making money. Ignition completely changed this perception.

Ignition Taught me from a practical side of things: how to go about creating theatre, delivering text, or working professionally in a performance context. How to market and network yourself, how to direct large numbers of people, how to write an audition application, how to write a funding application, how to approach casting directors, how to prepare for an audition, and most importantly how to have fun while doing it all”

Max Revell was the winner of BBC Young Dancer of The Year in 2019. He now attends the Northern School of Contemporary Dance.

Kieton Saunders-Browne

Name: Kieton Saunders-Browne

Year Graduated: 2016

"Ignition really felt like the first place that wanted me for who I was. I didn't have to be something I'm not and I experiened being unique in a room full amazing people and movers.

I learnt from Ignition because it was a space of pushing yourself. I thrived off of everyday being so full and it was a crash course of how I feel I've carried on working in my career since."

Kieton is in his first year studying acting at LAMDA. He is Artistic Director of Wooden Arrow Theatre Company and played Finn in Frantic Assembly's 2018 production The Unreturning. The above trailer is for new film YES-MAN, by 4Deuce Productions, in which Kieton plays the lead character.

Ben Taylor-Muir

Name: Ben Taylor-Muir

Year Graduated: 2018

"It’s a class program, don’t think anything compares really. It’s so rare to have such an accomplished theatre company put their top directors in a room with effectively a creative development program for young people.

It’s amazing to see how far some of the class have gone in various artistic fields, and shows like The Unreturning solidify this idea that we are still connected.

It gives us contacts to not only Frantic but also to a next generation of artists and theatre makers from all over the UK, which can open up doors more than trying this career path in your hometown.”

“It’s helped myself and Ali J. Kerr (another Ignition grad - see above) in making work for our own theatre company, and is often something I highlight when searching for roles or speaking to an agent.”

This is a treatment for a short film being developed by Ben and fellow Ali called An Epistle tae Burns Father and Son. It is the first project of their newly formed company Shouting at Mountains.

Billy Taylor

Name: Billy Taylor

Year Graduated: 2016

"Ignition was the spark that set in motion this journey for me.

It reinforced the roots of risktaking, movement and collaboration, allowing me to branch off into a fruitful world!"

Since Ignition, Billy's journey has taken him across Europe. With his new experimental movement company Yos Theatre, he is collaborating with theatremakers in Wales, the Czech Republic and Slovakia to create some moving, sensory theatre.

Samuel Tracy

Name: Samuel Tracy

Year Graduated: 2016

"Ignition opened doors for me that I didn't even know were there. Years later I feel like I belong to one big (still growing!) family.

I learnt that our potential is limitless. Just when you want to stop is when you should keep on pushing further forward."

Samuel is in his final year at RADA. This is a monologue  from Something Dark by Lemn Sissay performed as part of the RADA Showcase, Beyond The Canon.

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