For Artists

Artist Development During COVID-19

During this time we are supporting those with ongoing Ferment & Writers projects that might need to shift timelines or adapt to the current moment. While the building is closed a lot of the artist support detailed in the pages below is on hold & we have redirected some of our support and capacity to respond to the crisis.

In the short term, we're mainly responding to a need to help guide artists and companies through the immediate impact the crisis might have had on their ongoing practice; helping them to access funding streams that might help mitigate the impact of lost income or postponed work or to work out what support is available to them, either from the government or from other funding streams. If this is you, please get in touch or book some 1:1 Artist Support via the details below. Help is here, if you need it.

Artist Support During the Crisis – Our Priorities

1. Keeping in touch: If you’d like to receive regular updates of useful information and the opportunities that we are discovering at this time, follow @bristolferment on Twitter and join The Forum to receive regular newsletters and updates from us.

2. The North Star Project: We've partnered with our brilliant friends at the New Diorama to support their North Star Project. A fountain of knowledge, advice and support to help artists and companies navigate these tricky times. The first step of our support is that we & national partners are offering a National Reading Service to anyone applying to Arts Council England’s individual emergency funding who has never personally received funding.

3. 1:1 Artist Support: We are lending support & capacity to Theatre Bristol's 1:1 Artist Support. 30 minutes of mentorship & advice (practical & pastoral) for any artist who might need some help navigating the current landscape, or a friendly ear to chat with.

Creative Opportunity During the Crisis

1. Support for Writers: The Open Session, our yearly call-out for Scripts from West Country writers, will be open for longer. This year we’re extending the window for entries, so you can send your play or musical to us throughout June and July. Full details here. Alongside that, we’ve gathered some of our favourite insights into theatre writing, for anyone who’s starting afresh, or wants a refresh from the minds of fellow writers. Head to Writer Refresh for a burst of inspiration, and perhaps some new approaches.

2. Bristol Old Vic At Home: To keep celebrating the creativity that flows between our audiences, our artists, our young people and our supporters, we've launched Bristol Old Vic At Home. Now, more than ever, people want to use their imaginations to see beyond their four walls. Check out Bristol Old Vic at Home.

3. We are still contactable! While our building is closed, many of our ongoing live initiatives are on hold, but in the next few weeks we will begin to think creatively beyond this moment and, as ever, are up for hearing your ideas for what the future could look like. If you would like to get in touch to talk about an idea email Ben here


Bristol Ferment is the artist development programme at Bristol Old Vic, helping to shape the artists and companies of tomorrow.


Focusing on original stories and rarely heard voices, our Writers department helps to develop exciting work from local playwrights.