Ferment Fortnight Preview | Bottom

5 Jul 2018

Ferment Fortnight returns for its bi-annual mini-fest of theatre experiments this July. Here we find out all about Willy Hudson's upcoming show, Bottom. Catch it at Bristol Old Vic Sat 21 July.

Tell us a bit about yourself…
Hello! My name is Willy Hudson and I'm from Exeter. I am a writer and a performer. I like making work which mixes theatrical form, unpicks social hangups and has top soundtracks. I also love Beyoncé. And knitting. I've recently graduated from The Oxford School of Drama, around that I've spent the past few years making Bottom.

What are you presenting at Ferment Fortnight? 
I am presenting Bottom. I'm calling it a 'queer coming-of-age remix'. It looks at queer identity and culture, focusing in on the top/bottom dynamic in queer sex. Its autobiographical. Its honest, funny (I HOPE), and has Beyoncé.

The show unfolds through a third date, where I try and be a 'top' for the first time. There are songs, some dancing around and a kind of queer sex education class.

What inspired/influenced your piece?
A couple of years ago I decided to move to London. I got stuck in this world of partying and became anxious about sex and relationships. I would get massive performance anxiety and was pretty stuck. At the same time I did a workshop with performance artist Bryony Kimmings, exploring how to create work from scratch. Kimmings is very autobiographical based so what was happening to me at the time merged with the stuff I was making, and Bottom was born. 

I'm inspired by a lot of theatre and performance work which has underwritten, stereotyped and sidelined queer stories. I want to put the queer experience centre stage and open up what it's like to be living and breathing in 2018. I want people to be like 'oh my god that's just what happened to me' or 'oh my god I didn't know half of this stuff'.

What does the work that Ferment do mean to you?
A lifeline. Bottom would not exist without the support and development with Ferment. The opportunity to perform, develop the show, connect with audiences and artists in Bristol is so brilliant and invaluable for new artists. The support for South-West based work is much needed, particularly now when pockets are getting tighter and venues are closing down (like the dearly missed Bike Shed Theatre). Its a great way to celebrate what's happening down this end of the country!

What would you say the audience can expect in three words?
Bums, Beyoncé and Burnt-Fish-Fingers

Ferment Fortnight kicks off at Arnolfini 9-11 July before returning to Bristol Old Vic for four more nights of scratch theatre 13-21 July. For more info and to book tickets, click here.