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Presented by Bristol Old Vic Ferment

Join us as we invite some excellent Ferment artists to open up their creative process and share ideas with us. This is an exciting moment for us to really explore how to make work for the Theatre and what that could mean for these new show ideas, at this early stage.

Showcasing work-in-progress pieces from some wonderful South West artists, these showings exist as the first public stage of a creative process and a space to see what ideas look like on their feet.

You are a crucial part of that process; the artists need your thoughts on their work. So come and see a show, grab a drink in the bar and tell us what you think.

We hope you enjoy this week of work and find inspiration in these brilliant offerings.

Emma Bettridge
Bristol Old Vic Ferment Producer


Tue 26 Jul
How I Came To Be Where I Never Was
The Fox and the Child

Wed 27 Jul
The Toyshop at the End of the World

Thu 28 Jul
Countless Yellow Chairs
Stranger on the Bridge

Fri 29 Jul
Dame Nature - The Magnificent Bearded Lady
Always and Totally Forever

Sat 30 Jul
Bucket List

All performances are £5 (plus booking fee) and take place in the Bristol Old Vic Theatre unless otherwise indicated.

Age guidance for all performances 12+.

Take A Punt

See 5 shows for the price of 4
(£20 instead of £25)

During Ferment we would like to invite you to Take A Punt. It's all about stepping just a little bit outside of your comfort zone and trying something new or unexpected. With this offer you can discover something entirely new and unexpected, without breaking the bank.

Go on, we have a packed week full of variety. You never know what you might find...


How I Came To Be Where I Never Was

Jonny Fluffypunk
Tue 26 Jul | 6.30pm

Jonny Fluffypunk grew up in suburban nowhere. This is a story about trying to find yourself, when you find yourself rootless. It's also about unrequited love, psychogeography and the importance of a good record shop. It's about being the first punk in the village and the only paperboy in eyeliner. It's about making your own myth and putting yourself on the map.

This is a lo-fi stand-up spoken word theatre show, with music and hopefully with little films in, too. It's for anyone who has loved, owned a vinyl record or just been alive.

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The Fox and the Child

Sharp Teeth
Tue 26 Jul | 8.15pm

Eyes meet across restaurants, buttons and hooks are undone, vows are unwound and worlds shake.

A story where a young woman meets an older man and falls in love, a woman dreams she becomes a fox, and a fox hunts a child.

The Fox and the Child is a scratch performance of a new storytelling show with music and projection, which peels off the layers to reveal the darkness beneath.

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Nasi Voutsas & Bertrand Lesca, co-produced by FellSwoop Theatre
Wed 27 Jul | 6.30pm

It's going to be really fun! All of us living together in one house, we'll be able to learn from each other and... I mean, we might argue sometimes, but housemates always argue sometimes, don't they?

Two performers, one Greek - one French, dance and shout, cry and sing; exploring life in 'The Eurohouse'. A darkly comic look at the EU's founding ideals and what got lost along the way. Made between Greece and the UK.

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The Toyshop at the End of the World

Kid Carpet in collaboration with Tim Atack, Tanuja Amarasuriya, Duncan Speakman, Matthew Older and Katie Cooper
Wed 27 Jul | 8.15pm

An experimental, visual and playful performance of sound, music and song using found objects and toys as instruments. Developing and manipulating everyday items to make an extraordinary spectacle out of very ordinary things. Hopefully beautiful, funny and sad. Somewhere between a Talking Heads gig, The Batcave and a new musical theatre performance.

With any luck this show can be clever, cool and sophisticated by using uncool and unsophisticated tools in harmony with technology, a good heart, a keen and wonky sense of style and great songs.
Let's see what happens!

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Stranger on the Bridge

Katie Hims, co-created with Postcard Productions and directed by Lizzie Minnion
Thu 28 Jul | 8.15pm

Please note this performance has been moved to 8.15pm in the Theatre

The Stranger on the Bridge is based on the stranger-than-fiction real life story of Jonny Benjamin's search for the stranger who stopped him from taking his own life in 2008 that was turned into a Channel 4 documentary. The play follows Jonny's journey from the launch of his social media campaign #findmike - which went viral around the world reaching over 350 million people globally - to the documentary produced as the story unfolded that took him to Kensington Palace and Gogglebox on its way. Inspired by this extraordinary story, the play challenges perceptions and depictions of mental illness as it explores how the ripple effect of a simple act of human kindness can reach beyond and transform the lives of so many other strangers.

This very special performance will feature an exclusive appearance on stage by Jonny Benjamin.

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Countless Yellow Chairs

Laïla Diallo & Jules Maxwell
Thu 28 Jul | 6.30pm

At the heart of it are nine chairs. Both of us. And nine chairs.

In turns, they, and we, are an aloneness, they are witness, they are an embrace, they are a memory, they are an imprint, they are bones, they are a forest, they are stacked, they are an aftermath, they are a ballroom, they are resting, they are one short, they are held, they hold our weight, they hold our wait, they move, and change and remain nine yellow chairs.

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Dog 1 & 2

Unstable King

Dog 1 is a one man alternative comedy show about a man and his dog, best buds however different they are. It's weird, surreal, funny and sometimes exciting.

Dog 2 is a comedic experiment happening on the same night involving actual dogs and improvisation. The dogs may come and say hi so you need to be ok with this. You may even get a dogsnog.


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Dame Nature - The Magnificent Bearded Lady

Tim Bell
Fri 29 Jul | 6.30pm

Moisturise. Oil. Comb. Repeat.
Moisturise. Oil. Comb. Repeat.
Moisturise. Oil. Comb. Repeat.

Dame Nature is a bearded lady who has been looking after her facial furniture for as long as she can remember. And she just can't stop combing over the past.

Once the star of the show, now she spends her days in the depths of her dressing room contemplating the fading roar of the crowd, lost love and the merits of Phil Collins' solo work.

Straight from the old world of Victorian music hall, Dame Nature - The Magnificent Bearded Lady is an evening of stories and characters for audiences who don't like to judge a woman by her beard. Join Dame Nature as she recounts tales from her extraordinary life and has a hilarious, heartfelt and hairy look at a world in which, unfortunately for her, it's not what's on the inside that counts.

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Always and Totally Forever

Sam Halmarack, Olivia Winteringham, Tilly Webber & Germain Loud
Fri 29 Jul | 8.15pm

Join Sam Halmarack and friends in an early exploration of the devised musical Always and Totally Forever. It's a lament for what's gone and a chaotic celebration of what's to come. Always and Totally Forever aims to get the audience to feel like teenagers by immersing them in a riotous mosaic of song, dance and video art. Sam and Olivia have been working with teenagers from different backgrounds with the support of pioneering research-art atelier Mammalian Diving Reflex.

Always and Totally Forever offers an opportunity for audiences to feel the lust, confusion and and excitement of being a teenager first-hand. Sam and company will be showing an early stage section of the show giving an exciting insight into the process of the making of a modern musical.

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Bucket List

Theatre Ad Infinitum
Sat 30 Jul | 6.30pm
BSL Signed performance

Multi award winning Ad Infinitum (Translunar Paradise, Ballad of the Burning Star, Light) presents the powerful story of one Mexican woman's fight for justice.

When her mother is murdered for protesting corporate and governmental corruption, Milagros finds herself with only a bloodstained list of those responsible. Determined to make them pay, Milagros embarks on a passionate quest for justice - no matter the cost.

Using physical storytelling, live music and song, Theatre Ad Infinitum unfold a story of love, loss and revenge.

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26-30 Jul
(plus booking fee)



From June this year, we anticipate the beginning of redevelopment works that will transform our front of house King Street entrance into a welcoming, access friendly community space that everyone will be able to enjoy. During this time, it will be business as usual in the Theatre with our brilliant programme on offer, however there are a few changes to how we'll be operating.

Theatre Entrance

From Saturday 18 June you will be invited to enter the Theatre via stage door, walking the footsteps of such legends as Peter O'Toole, Daniel Day Lewis and Miranda Richardson.

Our new Theatre entrance can be accessed through Rackhay (BS1 4HJ) off Queen Charlotte Street around the corner from King Street.

Click here for more information and updates on our Theatre entrance.

Ticket Collection

On performance days tickets can be collected from Box Office situated in our Backstage Bar opening 90 mins prior to each performance.

For more information on accessibility, ticket collection, our Backstage Bar, arrival and drop-off at our Theatre plus any updates on our redevelopment click here.


Jerwood Charitable Foundation generously support specific elements of Bristol Old Vic Ferment activity, namely, production and research and development commissions ("A Jerwood Charitable Foundation/Bristol Old Vic Ferment Commission"); artistic retreats ("Jerwood Charitable Foundation/Bristol Old Vic Ferment Retreats"); and a new programme for 2015/16, producer bursaries ("Jerwood Charitable Foundation/Bristol Old Vic Ferment Producer Bursaries").

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