Bristol Old Vic Ferment centres on artist development by representing a vibrant community of theatre-makers from Bristol and the South West with whom we support and develop exciting and adventurous new work.

Ferment creates a playful structure through which the best artists can explore theatrical ideas in an ongoing dialogue with audiences.

We work with a huge variety of artists whose work inspires us to experiment and make theatre of tomorrow. Our artist development offer is curated by Bristol Ferment producer Ben Atterbury; here are some of the ways we work with artists:

The Naseem Khan Commissions

Bristol Old Vic Ferment, Leicester Curve and The Lowry Salford are joining forces to launch ‘The Naseem Khan Commissions’, three seed commissions of £2,000 each to three Artists of Colour (theatre-makers or companies led by a majority of POC) to create ambitious new work for our theatres and beyond.

The commissions are named in memory of Naseem Khan OBE, author of the first ever Government inquiry into diversity in British culture (The Arts Britain Ignores, 1976); and lifelong champion of inclusion in theatre.

Deadline for applications: 10am, Fri 28 Sep

Ferment Fortnight Festivals

Twice a year we invite artists to Ferment Fortnight, a creative space to try out ideas, work-in-progress or scratch performances in front of audiences.

Artist Development & Retreats

Artists escape with us to the country to experiment, develop and make work in holistic surroundings.

Support & Commissioning

If a project excites us, we support it through various stages of development to reach its full potential.

Company Producing & Support with Strategy

We work intensively with a small cohort of artists each year to help them broker relationships with venues, support with tour booking, provide industry advocacy and help with long term artist strategy

Plow by Sharon Clark (Ferment Fortnight July 2017) Credit: Jack Offord

Contact Us

The Ferment team are unable to meet with every artist who gets in touch – but a good place to start is by inviting us to see your work, or sending us a link to a film of a recent performance.

For general enquiries and initial contact please email, or follow us on Twitter – @BristolFerment

Thank You

Bristol Ferment is supported by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation. Grants from the Foundation are invested directly in artists and the development of their work, through bespoke programmes of research and development, mentoring, dramaturgical support and a variety of public-facing performances, including work-in-progress scratch events, such as Ferment Fortnight.