Returning to Bristol for the last two weeks of January is Ferment, the artist development factory at the Old Vic designed to coax the talent out of the city’s thriving cultural populace. Theatre-makers take their seeds of ideas – storylines, characters, settings – and transform them into something more fully-formed.
This is not to say that the offerings are polished and sparkling. They are works in progress, rough cuts of material, which makes them all the more intriguing and exciting. It can often seem like the actors and performers are playing with the material, wriggling around to get a new pair of jeans to fit comfortably. The material is there to be worked with, and the audience is a fine sounding board.
In the past, Ferment has brought us gems such as The Window, which explored aging, loneliness and societal obligations in the modern world. This time around, there are 13 shows to sink your teeth into. Dance performance Impermanence brings together technique, theatricality and live music. The award-winning FellSwoop Theatre explore life and death with Ghost Opera. The History of F***ing, presumably, offers up a lesson in the teleology of flux capacitors.
The shows run from 21-30 January, and can be viewed here – stay tuned for further coverage from The Fix!