We today announce the ten artists, including writers, producers and directors, who will be supported for the next year as members of The Bank Cohort for 2024. The Bank is a dedicated hub for talent development; this is the fourth cohort to be supported by Sheffield Theatres.
The artists will be offered bespoke support, training, artistic opportunities and professional development.
The Writing Group are: Mandi Chivasa (left), Billie Collins (right), and Madeleine Farnhill (middle).
Mandi is a writer and theatre maker passionate about telling stories from unheard voices. Her work usually puts women front and centre of stories. She hopes to raise awareness and create a platform for working class artists in the arts. Billie is a writer and dramaturg from the Wirral, currently based in Manchester. They write for stage, screen and radio, and their work often explores themes of growing up, queerness, family, and the relationship between humans and non-humans. Madeleine is a playwright and actor from Yorkshire. She is the Artistic Director and Writer for Sheffield-based theatre company Black Bright Theatre, and is an MA Drama Writing graduate of Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. Madeleine primarily writes regional, female-led theatre with folk horror influences.
The Producing Group are: Helen Denning (left), Noemi Antonelli (right), and Ellie Ragdale (middle).
Helen is a Sheffield-based producer passionate about creating female-led theatre. She is the Co-Founder, Producer, and Company Manager of Black Bright Theatre Company. The female-led, independent company emerged from a shared vision of creating narrative-driven theatre with complex female characters at its core, specialising in regional horror theatre. Noemi is a producer of site-specific immersive theatre, cabaret and arts festivals. Particularly experienced in creating work in non-theatre spaces and community led work, she has been programming and producing through her own award nominated company, Swans Productions since 2020. Ellie is a Producer and Artist from Sheffield. Founder and Artistic Director of family immersive screening company Handmade Cinema and the co-founder of creative events collective Girl Gang Sheffield. Ellie is also the Co-founder, Producer and Company Manager of Girl Gang Manchester a collective of artists, activists, academics and party instigators, known for large scale cross-art form collaborative events, immersive environments and inclusive atmospheres.
The Directing Group are: Yanni Ng (left), Edgars Naglis (right), Chantell Walker (middle), and Natalie Simone (not pictured).
Yanni is a Manchester-based director and theatre-maker who specialises in new writing with a focus on exploring the fluid concepts of time, identity, and memory. Hailing from Hong Kong, she strives to create work surrounding East Asian communities and to champion other underrepresented narratives in a positive light. Edgars is a Yorkshire-based director and theatre maker passionate about storytelling. His journey as a first-generation immigrant and disabled artist enriches his work with authenticity and depth. Chantell is a Theatre Director from Sheffield. Her work focuses on themes such as Community, Family, Women and social issues. She has mostly worked on new writing and has a passion for inspiring and untold stories. Natalie is a director, theatre maker and facilitator from Derbyshire who directs new writing and reimagines classics taking a physical, humorous, and wildly imaginative approach. She is interested in creating work that centres around the female experience in unexpected ways, with a focus on the reclamation of women’s stories throughout history, looking at it through the lens of dark comedy and power.
Tom Bird, Chief Executive of Sheffield Theatres said:
‘This is the fourth year Sheffield Theatres has supported local artists with The Bank Cohort and we are so excited to see what fantastic work they produce under our talent development scheme. Previous cohort members have gone on to do many brilliant things in the theatre world, so it is a privilege to support the early stages of trailblazing projects and watch them blossom with the space, training and opportunities offered by our teams. I certainly can’t wait to see what this next iteration of local talent has to share with us and our future audiences.’
The Bank, which is located adjacent to the Crucible on Tudor Square, is a creative space for local artists and theatre makers to develop their work, skills, collaborations and careers with the support of the staff and creative teams at Sheffield Theatres. During their time as members of The Bank Cohort, the supported artists will be based in The Bank where they will be able to access a Writers Room and library which offers a quiet space for artists to develop and write work, as well as a larger space for group work including research and development, rehearsals and scratch performances.