Ferment Fortnight July 2018

Summer is here. 2018 has properly landed, and with it many an excellent new idea.

Now in its eighth year, Ferment aspires to give the best possible opportunities to the artists we are inspired by. The Fortnight is our testing ground, and you are a crucial part the process – a chance to get stuck in and feedback on each artist’s work.

So come and join us as we prise open our rehearsal room doors and throw some of the finest talent in the South West out into the city at Arnolfini and onto our Theatre stage.

Bring your generous minds; they'll bring their vulnerable wares.
Together we will all have a jolly old time.

Emma Bettridge
Bristol Old Vic Ferment Producer

Useful information

  • All performances are £5 (or 5 for £20) unless otherwise stated
  • Performances take place at both Arnolfini and Bristol Old Vic
  • For all shows at Arnolfini, when they are no longer available online, tickets can still be purchased on the door. Please note it will be cash only.
  • Age guidance for all performances is 12+ unless otherwise stated

Please see event listings for further details:

Alex Goodman

Coast Path

Dark Studio, Arnolfini

Following a 289 mile walk between the town where she was born and the place she first swam in the sea, Alex Goodman presents the materials she gathered along the way and invites you to retrace her journey through sound, projection and live-performance.

Hugh McCann


Dark Studio, Arnolfini

THUD-THUMP in the soil. Hard work on the surface. Nothing in the sky.

NOISE is an intimate, multi-sensory journey through a reimagined Dartmoor, where candy-floss spins and cement churns ceaselessly.

Wojtek Rusin, Ellen Wilkinson & Bertrand Lesca

Poles in Space

Theatre, Arnolfini

Britain, 2018: only a surrealist encounter can bring the ‘other’ closer to the ‘native.’ For some of the protagonists it will be a rough ride towards an uncertain future. It’s a brand new journey, a chance to improve yourself. We’ve got gherkin soup for the first course but our passports are on fire.

Vic Llewellyn +?

A Little Death

Theatre, Arnolfini

Whilst wandering drunkenly through the woods, local butcher, William Williams, has an epiphanic moment. Rushing home to share his vision, he returns to discover his family gone. In this surreal new show, Vic Llewellyn +? explores themes of mass hysteria, loss, and the need for positive change.

Vanessa Kisuule

An Uneventful Day at the Beach

Theatre, Arnolfini

A mother and a daughter go to the beach. They eat ice cream. They paddle in the sea. They meet an octopus. This is a newborn play still finding its legs… or tentacles. It explores themes of motherhood, heritage, ecology, food ethics, the dangers of the white saviour narrative and the joys of a Cornetto.


Sir David and His Animals

Theatre, Arnolfini

You've all heard of Blue Planet and Planet Earth, right? Tonight, we are thrilled to present; naturalist, national treasure and broadcasting legend, Sir David Attenborough and his animals! An epic evening of clowning, physical theatre and the largest range of animals you will ever see on stage.

Tom Marshman


Theatre, Arnolfini

Inspired by interviews and works written by Kenneth Williams, performer Tom Marshman takes you on a journey through Williams’ profound life before delving into the life of this complicated national treasure who once dominated primetime but in private was terrorized by his own internal demons.

Inspector Sands

Wuthering Heights

Rehearsal Room, Bristol Old Vic

Drawing on Brontë’s fierce wit and fervid emotion, Inspector Sands will present their findings from a first week of R&D on a brand new adaptation of this classic novel.

  • 4:00pm
In Bed with my Brother

Tricky Second Album

Theatre, Bristol Old Vic

In 1988, the KLF wrote The Manual. It revealed the secret of how to get a #1 hit single in the UK music charts. In 2017, we read it. And in 2018, we made a #1, smash-hit, sell-out Fringe theatre show. Our Tricky Second Album.

The Coterie

C-word Clubhouse

Theatre, Bristol Old Vic

Climb into our clubhouse for a spangly eco-comedy-cabaret-bingo-disco about Climate Change; the coming curfew, the turd in humanity’s collective punchbowl! A new collaboration between multi-award winning artists Caitlin McLeod, Bea Roberts and Timberlina.



Theatre, Bristol Old Vic

Written by Bertolt Brecht in 1918, this antiheroic tragedy explores love, death and sex through the lens of a young writer, recently returned from the horrors of war. Adapted by Impermanence with Director Tyrrell Jones and Composer Robert Bentall.

Rachael Clerke & The Woodland Tribe

Working Model

Gallery Space, Arnolfini

Working Model is an idea for a real but temporary present-day city, built by children. As part of Ferment, Rachael Clerke (Cuncrete, Clerke and Joy) is collaborating with purveyors of DIY adventure play Woodland Tribe to build a city out of wood in the Arnolfini galleries.

People of all ages are invited to visit the city throughout the day to build, talk, read and explore. 90 minute build sessions for children and families can be booked at 10am, 1.30pm & 4pm.

Open Gallery 10am–6pm
Free, with bookable Building Sessions for children as indicated above. Children must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

Willy Hudson


Theatre, Bristol Old Vic

Bottom. A queer coming-of-age remix: awkwardly honest and endearingly funny. Join Willy Hudson as he questions if a ‘bottom’ in the bedroom means a ‘bottom’ in life – and whether Beyoncé can help put his love on top.

Massive Owl

The Dolphin Hotel

Theatre, Bristol Old Vic

A British journalist travels to Japan to investigate a potential murder, when a dead body turns up on a film set. Following Castle Rock, Massive Owl present the second part of their Distortion Trilogy – a dark and sinister retelling of Haruki Murakami's novel Dance Dance Dance.