We are putting together an 12 month support programme of workshops, training, mentoring, networking and performance opportunities for 8 young emerging actors from outside London to help them transition into the industry.

We completed a PHASE 1 pilot project between Oct-Dec 2016 and are now working towards launching the project fully from January 2018. This will consist of:

  • 10 workshop/training sessions with industry professionals, directors, advisors and fellow actors.
  • 1-week run of the play SACRIFICE in a central London theatre.
  • Support in the business side of being an actor.
  • A travel bursary to attend auditions.



RAISE £15,000

We have been awarded £15,000 from Cockayne - Grants for the Arts and The London Community Foundation towards the 3-week run of SACRIFICE. One of the conditions for accepting the award is to provide match funding of another £15,000.


MATCH FUND £15,000

We have made numerous applications to Trusts and Foundations with decisions due between September and November.

We are also sending out appeal letters to individuals and companies to help secure significant awards of between £100- £5,000.



raise FINAL £15,000

The final 50% of the budget will be achieved through ticket sales, additional grant applications and participation in the Big Give Christmas Challenge.

CLICK HERE for more info.

Why is this project important?

Andrew Muir talks about the thinking behind ARDENT8:

"As part-time writer in residence on the Foundation Degree course in Contemporary Theatre at the Bournemouth and Poole College for the last seven years it occurred to me that so many talented young students were finding it incredibly difficult to make the leap from the South Coast to London, regardless of their potential. Lack of funding as well as basic opportunities that are far more accessible to those graduating from a performing arts school based in London, led me to start thinking about practical ways in which I could help. We wanted to create a development programme that supported a bridge from region to the city to give these ex students a further opportunity to be exposed to industry professionals in a workshop environment and ultimately a showcase of that talent in a London venue. Our inaugural ensemble will be ex-students from the Bournemouth and Poole College, but eventually Ardent would like to cast the net further and select students from all over the UK."

The Sutton Trust report released Feb 2016 revealed there are relatively few working-class actors compared to the population as a whole and the acting industry is ‘heavily skewed towards the privileged’. The London School of Economics and Goldsmith University of London also found 73% of actors who replied to their survey were from backgrounds that qualify as ‘middle-class’.

Research with graduates from Bournemouth and Pool College , who make up our first ARDENT8 group, found their main barriers to entering the industry were ‘travel costs to attend auditions and lack of professional CV credits’ and ‘personal finances and lack of industry connections”.

Who has supported this project?

London Community Foundation.jpg

The D’Oyly Carte Charitable Trust
The Ernest Cook Trust
The Foyle Foundation
The Leathersellers' Company Charitable Fund
The Mercers' Company
The Teale Charitable Trust

David Harris