Something's Brewing

30 Jun 2022

Bristol Old Vic's Ferment has worked with and supported South West artists and companies for ten years. To mark the milestone, we've announced a three-pronged revamp:

  • Tripling our commissioning budget
  • providing bespoke support 
  • 600-strong networking group called The Forum

Times are changing and we are too!

We asked New Work producer Ben Atterbury to tell us a bit more about Ferment and why it’s more important than ever..

So, what is Ferment? 

Ferment is the name that we give to our programme of artist support, collaborating with artists and companies based in or from the South West.

Why did it need an update? 

We’ve been running Ferment for over 10 years now, the pandemic has illuminated some of the ways that we might change to respond to what artists and companies need from organisations like Bristol Old Vic now. We want to be a part of that change and we want to keep doing better, so we couldn’t just go back to the way things were before.

Why is this part of Bristol Old Vic's work important? 

The South West produces some of the most incredible talent in the whole of the UK and the Bristol Old Vic has to play a role in championing that community and allowing new voices to be heard in their home region – we want to give them the space to discover their artistic potential and put them toe-to-toe at the heart of our programme with extraordinary talent from all over the world.

What should we keep an eye out for this year? 

You should keep an eye out for a fun couple of Ferment-y weeks in the studio in the Autumn, which continues the Connecting the Dots initiative that we began in March & you should also look out in the Autumn for an announcement around commissioned artists and companies; we’re open for Expressions of Interest until July 15! Also, Outlier, a show co-produced with Ferment & part of our mission to champion South West voices, returns to the Theatre in September, so get your tickets!

What advice would you give to someone who wants to make theatre? 

Follow the things that bring you joy. Experiment. Be patient, resourceful and creative. Be curious about all the ways that you might work in this industry; try different things on for size. If you’re interested in finding out more.. 

Ferment 2022: Revamped support for Artists announced | Bristol Old Vic

Ferment supported Outlier in rehearsal. Photo Paul Blakemore
Ferment supported Wild Swimming. Photo by The Other Richard