Ferment Futures: What Happens Next?

By Bristol Ferment

Bristol Ferment has a new Producer and we’d love to say hello.

Join us at this event as we discuss the future of Ferment and our collective aspirations; what do we want artist development in Bristol to mean, and what do we want it to look like? We want to hear your ideas and share some of our own amongst guests from all over the city.

We’ll bring the friendly faces, you bring the honesty; we’re all ears.

  • 6:00pm

Jessie's Tattoo Club

By Gagglebabble

Jessie's Tattoo Club is a mysterious place where stories flow, songs are shared, myths are busted and art makes its mark. Stricken by grief, one young woman is about to pick up the courage to cross the threshold into the tattoo club. What she will find is a rebellious world of ghosts and icons, songs and stories, and the legendary Jessie Knight. She will have some wild tales to get off her chest, backed by a live band, with music inspired by the likes of Joni Mitchell, Janis Joplin, and Patti Smith.

Following their hit gig-theatre shows Sinners Club and The Bloody Ballad, Gagglebabble return to Bristol Old Vic with their new work-in-progress Jessie’s Tattoo Club – blending the life and poems of the trailblazing first female British tattoo artist Jessie Knight with elements of the counter-cultural world of tattooing, circus, and alternate rock music. Jessie's Tattoo Club will be a place where only the brave may enter, but dig under the skin and you’ll find a brand new universe. 

Supported by Arts Council England

  • 8:00pm

Wild Swimming

By FullRogue

'Whoever masters form masters time.'
Glyn Maxwell

'We are only just starting to be able to make eye contact with the male gaze, and not just call it reality.' 
Lucy Prebble, Twitter, 17.11.17

Nell and Oscar meet on Studland beach in Dorset. It's 1595... or maybe it’s 1610. Oscar has returned from his first term at university and Nell is doing fuck all. They will meet here, again and again, on this beach... for the next 400 years. Stuff will change. As it does with time. They will try to keep up.

  • 8:00pm
  • 8:00pm


By Lucy Bell

How did it come to this?  How did I miss the clues?  This story began seven years ago but built to its grisly climax in the two weeks before Christmas, to a soundtrack of screeching brakes and something far worse: The Greatest Hits of Westlife…

Inspired by frank and funny conversations with “special needs” families, Laminated is about a family on a collision course with each other. Performed by Annette Chown (Closer Each Day), with a tapestry of rural characters and a breakneck plot, the play explores the impact on marriage of having a high-needs child, and welcomes us into a world of baffled and baffling NHS employees, contraband sausages and overheating laminators.

  • 6:00pm

Fur Baby / the Great Dog, Pan

By Amy Mason and Toby Parker-Rees


Featuring a woman and her (talking) cat, Fur Baby is a funny, dark, and brutally honest look at the way society views women who choose not to reproduce. Following three successful Ferment developed autobiographical shows (The Islanders, Mass, Hollering Woman Creek), Fur Baby is Amy Mason’s first play.

This performance will be a script-in-hand reading of an extract of the play.


Martha is visited by a man who wants to know about her dog.  She’s happy to talk about Pan, because she loves him.  He is a great dog.  He is the audience.

Martha has new friends now, dogwalking friends, and they've begun to find terrible things down by the river.  Pan hasn't found anything though, and Martha’s worried there's something wrong.  She loves Pan – he is such a good dog – so she has to help him.

The Great Dog, Pan is a monologue about feeling anxious and lonely in modern England – the reasons for it, and the things that people do to cope.  It's also about the lifechanging strangeness of having a pet.

  • 6:00pm


By The Sum (Emma Callander & Tom Wainwright)

"I can teach you how to get women to beg to sleep with you by short circuiting their emotional and logical minds". Negging is our response to the weird world of Pick Up Artists, the Game and finding intimacy in 2019.

The Sum creating this show are director Emma Callander, writer Tom Wainwright, movement director Yandass Ndlovu, performer Sam Henderson and musicians La La and the Boo Ya.

Developed with the support of Leeds Playhouse.

  • 8:00pm

Beyond Black History Month

Due to unforeseen circumstances this event has now been cancelled.

  • 8:00pm


By Jack Dean & Christopher Harrisson

Set sail with Freydis and her son Snorri on a Viking adventure brought to life through storytelling, live animation and music. Join her crew of explorers as they find out they’re not alone in this strange new land and come face to face with ghosts, monsters and wild gooseberries. Follow Snorri as he confronts an ancient being set on revenge and learns the truth about himself.

Vinland retells the incredible historical tale of the Vikings last journey to America inspired by the sagas of Erik the Red and his family. A dark, wintry adventure for ages 9 and up.

Supported by Arts Council England & artsdepot.

  • 8:00pm

I R a N

By Ryan O'Shea

Aurora borealis comes in view… a cloud appears above your head… and a beam of light comes shining down, on you.

I R A N is a solo performance investigating notions of anxiety and the human desire to run away from emotion. Pungent with the euphoric melancholy of electronic music and taking the narrative and stylings of hit song ‘I Ran (So Far Away)’ by 80’s new wave, synth-pop band A Flock of Seagulls, I R A N follows a character as they fall in love with a seagull and struggle to face their feelings. A treadmill, a scrolling LED text bar and a mute performer guide audiences through an unusual world formed with a sharp, mesmeric aesthetic. Playful, surreal, and lonely, this is for those who dream of running, of running far away…

  • 8:00pm

The Pelican Daughters

By The Wardrobe Ensemble

‘Judicious punishment! 'Twas this flesh begot
Those pelican daughters.’

King Lear

The Wardrobe Ensemble (1972: The Future of Sex, Education, Education, Education) return to Ferment with a work-in-progress performance of their latest show, The Pelican Daughters, made in co-production with Complicité and Royal & Derngate Northampton.

In Shakespeare’s time, it was said that pelican mothers would feed their young on their own blood. Our show is an examination of inheritance, family, what’s fair and what’s not, told through the story of four sisters trying to come to terms with their mother’s death. It’s about growing-up and what comes next.

  • 8:00pm
  • 8:00pm

Across the Water

By Liz Mytton

The strange tale of Marcus Garvey and the KKK.

A picture of Marcus Garvey - Pan-African leader, journalist and orator - graces the walls of millions of black households: a bonafide Jamaican National Hero. Then there’s Edward Young Clarke, a pioneer of US public relations who transformed the KKK from a fringe grouping to one of the largest fraternal organisations of the twentieth century. He’s less recognisable because he often wears a white mask.

Inspired by true events, this work in progress is set in the fiercely monochrome world of 1920s America, examining the strange and little talked of alliance formed by these two influential men. Separated by a political abyss, and with the agendas of their people in direct conflict, why would they come together to meet at all?

  • 6:00pm

New Models: Design-led Practice

By Bristol Design Assembly and Bristol Ferment

Bristol Design Assembly and Ferment host a discussion that poses the question; how theatre making might work if designers were the lead creatives on a project? Modern theatre’s aesthetic calls for huge variations in style, materials and technologies. In the past, a rep system fostered an economy of repeatedly recycled cloths and flats, but for modern artists this approach may be unfulfilling.

As the economy shifts, budgets are growing increasingly tight and creative teams' aesthetic ambitions are often dampened by the practicalities of short get ins and runs. Could designers being the instigators of projects help bridge a gap between ambition and economy? Would designers leading a project be an artistically enriching process?

  • 6:00pm

Total Body Conditioning – Take Part

By Huge if True

Please note: By booking for the ‘Take Part’ element of this event, you will be participating in an actual exercise class, and you will need to come to theatre wearing suitable clothes and shoes for a high intensity training session.

If you are pregnant, have a pre-existing medical condition or have any concerns or questions, please feel free to give us a call before booking your ticket.

See event details below.

  • 8:00pm

Total Body Conditioning – Watch

By Huge if True

I can do anything.
I can be anyone you need me to be.
I can make you anyone you need to be.
I made you strong.
I made you thin.
I made you proud.
I made you walk again.
I made you comfortable in your skin.
I made you a meal plan.
I made you attractive to your wife.
I made you into a triathlete.
I made you a 32-inch waist.
I made you healthy.
I made you see your kids again.
I made you brave.
I made you confident.
I made you a six pack.
I made you set goals.
I made you smash them.

How does it feel to spend your life helping other people transform, when you are denied the very same transformation? Total Body Conditioning is a thirty-minute high intensity interval training class exploring personal transformation and the emotional labour which enables it. Take part or watch, but ask yourself, are you going to settle for second best?

  • 8:00pm