Bristol Old Vic Ferment

Ferment is the artist development department of Bristol Old Vic. It is also the name we give to the vibrant community of theatre-makers from Bristol and the South West with whom we support and develop exciting and adventurous new work. Within this ‘ferment' it is our job to create a playful structure through which the best of these artists can explore their theatrical ideas in an ongoing dialogue with an audience.

Devisers, directors, writers, dancers, musicians, poets, puppeteers, live artists - you name it. The Ferment is a porous pool into which we invite artists who inspire us to forge new theatrical possibilities and make the theatre of tomorrow.

Ferment is a year round development programme and is punctuated by two Ferment Fortnights of work-in-progress work in January and July. This is where we gather a fortnight of scratch and work in progress performances in an informal and lively atmosphere that invites feedback directly from the audience.

Across the programme you will already see a ferment ‘stamp' on a range of projects from first outing to full production, where a project has followed a Ferment thread through the programme to full realisation.

If you are a theatre-maker based in Bristol or the Southwest we are always interested to hear from you. We collaborate with artists whose work we have seen and which excites us, so if we are not yet aware of your work - invite us to see something.

Bristol Ferment is curated and produced by Emma Bettridge. If you are a playwright, your first contact should be with Sharon Clark, Literary Producer.

For general enquiries and initial contact please email




Thank you...

Bristol Ferment has been awarded a grant by Esmee Fairbairn Foundation. This money is to invest directly in artists, and is used to finance a bespoke programme of research and development, mentoring, dramaturgical support, residencies, work in progress/scratch, commissions and production.

Bristol Ferment also welcomes support from Bristol University.


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