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


Photography Ferment Fortnight, Jan 2015 by Jack Offord

Upcoming Productions

The Dog and the Elephant
9-13 Feb | Studio

Bristol Old Vic Ferment presents The Dog and the Elephant first shown in Ferment Fortnight, January 2015 - a compelling story written and directed by Matt Grinter of Bare Knuckle Boxer Bendigo Barlow and his friendship with an Elephant.


Bristol Ferment is supported by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation. We use a grant from the Foundation to invest directly in artists and the development of their work, through a bespoke programme of research and development, mentoring, dramaturgical support and a variety of public-facing performances and work-in-progress scratch events delivered by Ferment's core team.

The Jerwood Charitable Foundation support additional specific elements of this activity, namely, Ferment production and research and development commissions; artistic retreats; and a new programme for 2015/16, Ferment Producer Bursaries.


news at bristol old vic...



Vacancies at Bristol Old Vic more »



Announcing Peter Pan transfer to National Theatre and Jane Eyre national tour more »



Bristol Old Vic Thunder Run Press Round-up more »

Feed Icon