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Ferment Fortnight: 24 Jan-3 Feb

Work-in-progress festival Ferment Fortnight sees the welcome return of some of the South West’s finest artists to a process which helps them light the spark of an idea. To properly kick-off the new year, Ferment will be presenting “scratch” performances not only on Bristol Old Vic’s main stage, but also across the city at Watershed and Loco Klub. The mini festival showcases new and original work from the likes of Amy Mason, Hannah Sullivan, The Invisible Circus and Toby Thompson amongst many other exciting and inspiring theatre-makers, with the aim that Bristol Old Vic Ferment can support the future life of these works into full-blown productions.

Amongst this Fortnight’s sharings, there are also wrap-around activities including a conversation with last year’s Leverhulme scholars and the very first South West Artists/Venue’s “meet-up” (in the form of a Speed Date).

As always, this is a chance for audiences to get stuck in and feedback to each artist and help them to take their work to the next level.

Ferment is the artist development department of Bristol Old Vic. A year round quest to find, support and nurture local talent, Ferment provides South West artists with an opportunity to explore their theatrical ideas in an ongoing dialogue with audiences. By inviting artists whose work spans genre and form to experiment, play and make the theatre of tomorrow, Ferment continues to develop these vital local voices by offering tailored advice to creatives both emerging and established, and works closely with them through the development process.


FERMENT FORTNIGHT
Wed 24 Jan
In the Dark
Blueprints for a Working Model of the Future World
Tigerface

Thu 25 Jan
What We Found Out
For The Record
Hollering Women Creek

Fri 26 Jan
How to Grow a Story

Wed 31 Jan
#oneplaything
Psychopomp

Thu 1 Feb
Reclaimed
Kinkens

Fri 2 Feb
The Loneliness Epidemic
A Little Death

Sat 3 Feb
Cardboard Arcade

All performances are £5 unless stated otherwise, and take place in various venues across the city. Please see event listings below for further details.

Age guidance for all performances is 12+.


In the Dark
Hannah Sullivan
Wed 24 Jan | 5pm (every 15mins until 8pm)
Bristol Old Vic

For one person at time, In the dark is a small performance into the generosity of dark places. Darkness creates a situation of the unknown but also an environment of rest or secrecy. Developed on residency in Taiwan, Hannah was struck by the relief of the dark night, the cool mountain air. And when she asked her host about the dark, she said In the dark I can sleep, in the dark it is finally cool.

Blueprints for a Working Model of the Future World
Rachael Clerke
Wed 24 Jan | 6.30pm
Bristol Old Vic

Working Model is an idea for a real but temporary city, built by kids. It’s a place where things like time, architecture, and tradition might be reinvented, or destroyed. It’s a place that might be utopia, might be Lord of the Flies, might be an adventure playground.

Blueprints for a Working Model is a half-hour informal presentation for anyone interested in the research Rachael has been doing towards Working Model: around childhood, play, alternate realities and cities. The presentation will be followed by some time to have a chat and look at books in the Backstage Bar.
This is a free event

Tigerface
Justin Cliffe
Wed 24 Jan | 8.15pm
Bristol Old Vic

A nihilistic TigerFace asks the audience what they wanted to be when they grew up, then criticises them for becoming anything but. Lonely, bitter and jilted by modern society, he explores his disenfranchisement of adulthood through the guise (and lies) of a live children’s television show, which you’re invited to.

Creating a physically active dichotomy between what we were told to expect as children vs the reality of being a millennial living in 2017, Tigerface is a ragged-scream-party-piece thats two parts misery one part joyful.

What We Found Out
Leverhulme Arts Scholarship lunchtime talk with Emma Bettridge
Thu 25 Jan | 1pm
Bristol Old Vic

Join Ferment producer Emma Bettridge and the 2017/18 Leverhulme Arts Scholarship recipients – Tanuja Amarasuriya, Malcolm Hamilton, Vanessa Kisuule, Rachael Clerke and Laura Dannequin – as they have a little sit down and reflect on their time with us over this last year.

These scholarships were always intended as an evolution on from the existing levels of artist support Ferment could provide, so we’re very keen to dig into that a bit more, share some learnings, share some thoughts, unpick what works and what doesn’t.

Do join us – bring your lunch, we’ll rustle up a drink.
This is a free event

For The Record
Toby Thompson
Thu 25 Jan | 6.30pm
Bristol Old Vic

“I was checking my reflection in a cold cup of coffee, and if I remember with a morsel of precision the gist, I was whistling a smorgasbord of cheesy old Brazilian hits…”

With a stack of records, an upright piano, and a head full of poems as his companions, Toby pays homage to the music he loves.

“One of the most inspired, powerful MC / poets I’ve heard in years. He speaks with a talent and passion that puts a lot of older writers to shame…” Dizraeli

“Toby Thompson is the future”  Kate Tempest

Hollering Women Creek
Amy Mason
Thu 25 Jan | 8.15pm
Bristol Old Vic

In 2015, newly pregnant Amy Mason travelled around Texas to research the death penalty for her new novel, having just quit her psych meds. This show is about what happened next.
Soundtracked by original country music from the multi award-winning Jackie Oates and Megan Henwood, Hollering Woman Creek follows Amy as her mental health goes haywire in one of the brashest, biggest, and most baffling US States.
A funny, dark and brutally honest early-stage work-in-progress showing.

How to Grow a Story
The Paper Cinema lunchtime talk with Nicholas Rawling and Joseph Wallace
Fri 26 Jan | 1pm
Watershed

The Paper Cinema’s performances combine the languages of animation, music, film and theatre. Accompanied by a live soundtrack, intricate pen and ink illustrations are skilfully manipulated in real-time in front of a video camera and projected onto the big screen. Sitting in full view of the audience, the puppeteers and musicians work to a precise choreography that is as engrossing to watch as the story being played out above them.

In this talk, The Paper Cinema’s creator Nicholas Rawling is joined by animation and puppetry director Joseph Wallace who has been working to develop original story ideas based on Nic’s illustrations. They will show work in progress illustrations, storyboards, plans for this project and address the particular challenges of writing narrative structure for the companies non-verbal, audio visual format.

This is a free event

#oneplaything
Malcolm Hamilton
Wed 31 Jan | 6.30pm
Loco Klub

Malcolm has spent the last year kicking around ideas about PLAY. He’s been to conferences in Denmark, Leeds and Bristol; played with schools, housing groups and passers by on the street; he’s played tug of war, been on twitter, got angry about ‘pseudo public spaces’ and tried to wiggle his hips more. He’s going to try to talk about some of that to you. We might have a race, build a playscape, talk to penguins and hopefully you’ll leave January feeling a little more playful than you did before.

Psychopomp
Fen
Wed 31 Jan | 8.15pm
Loco Klub

A sci-fi feminist epic inspired by Vaporwave and gaming culture. Let us take you through an oddly melancholic dream as we as we journey into the depths of hell and escape to a distant world. Combining found text, art animation, dance and an original soundtrack, Psychopomp is the typical heroic sci-fi quest, cut up and redistributed with a female protagonist.

Constructed in sharp, abstract, cinematic chapters and entirely soundtracked with original Vaporware music, we follow a woman who journeys through a neon haze of nostalgia to the depths of hell in the technological age. “I’ll leave a light on for you, pure as sunlight” Gaming culture and Vaporwave are predominantly male-orientated.

Psychopomp is a badass, female-driven addition to the culture. The performance samples and re-appropriates found text from sources including interviews with women in STEM, interviews with female and LGBTQ+ gamers, online gaming conversations and video game and science fiction film scripts. Supported by UWE and The Island Bristol.

Reclaimed
Wassail
Thu 1 Feb | 6.30pm
Loco Klub

“The water is rising
The floods are here”

It had been an ordinary January day.

That is until an extraordinary thing happened: the water came and it didn’t go away. The community had been told to evacuate their homes and meet at the highest, safest point: the village hall.

What happens when a community is in crisis? When tragedy is moments away and when your loved ones are nowhere to be seen, who do you ask for help?

Inspired by the people, communities and organisations impacted by the 2013/14 floods of The Somerset Levels, Reclaimed places the audience in the heart of a fictional village under siege.

Kinkens
Pip Hambly
Thu 1 Feb | 6.30pm
Loco Klub

An abandoned radio shack becomes a refuge in a loneliness epidemic.
A persistent caller with an unanswerable question knocks on the door of an anxious host.
A podcast streaming consciousness in a radio show of the mind.
Where what’s heard Outside is a recorded broadcast, but what we see Inside is live. 

Welcome to Kinkens Questions, an exploration of the absurdity of isolation in an age of anxiety.

Featuring original tracks by Kid Carpet, additional direction/dramaturgy by Simon Day, sound design by Chris Prosho, set design by Emma Robinson.

Kinkens was initially supported by the Camden People’s Theatre Starting Blocks Programme and supported to develop with Lottery funding from the Arts Council.

The Loneliness Epidemic
The Invisible Circus
Fri 2 Feb | 6.30pm
Loco Klub

“Our growing reliance on social technology rather than face to face interaction is thought to be making us feel more isolated. It means we feel less connected to others and our relationships are becoming more superficial and less rewarding…”

Dr. Rebecca Harris – University of Bolton
We are more connected than ever. So why are we feeling more alone?

Britain has been voted the loneliness capital of Europe. Modern life is making us lonelier, and recent research indicates that loneliness increases mortality risk by 26%.
Following an investigation into ‘The Loneliness Epidemic’, the role of ritual within communities, and what part the shared experiences provided by theatre and circus might play, The Invisible Circus present a work in progress sharing of their latest touring show for 2018.

A Little Death
Vic Llewellyn & Kid Carpet
Fri 2 Feb | 8.15pm
Loco Klub

A “Folk-Horror-Rock-Stomp” from the team that brought you the nationally acclaimed show, The Castle Builder.

Vic wants to watch Twin Peaks and Ed wants to watch Camberwick Green but who’s got the remote?

Something’s happened in the village that nobody wants to talk about. Why is the bin man constantly crying? Why has the mechanic got bandaged hands? What happened to the Post Man’s legs? And why has the undertaker been so busy of late?

An investigation into tiny clues shines a light on what may or may not have happened.

Using puppetry, music and dance Vic and Ed are exploring new stories, extreme cultural phenomena, dancing… And dolls houses.

Vic Llewellyn & Kid Carpet weave stories of what happens when you make a choice to step out of the ordinary.

It can propel you into a world you never dreamed possible.

Cardboard Arcarde
Unstable King
Sat 3 Feb | 11am-4pm (Families), 7pm-11pm (Adults only)
Loco Klub
£10

A portable video game arcade. A pop up virtual kingdom. A suite of digital and analog games from small indie developers and designers around the world. A travelling exhibition on video games; as art and as play. A Virtual Reality station. A party, buddy builder, barcade, quest conquerer and nostalgia hit rolled into one.

A space where simple to play games for all ages and abilities get people laughing and talking no matter your background or culture. All of this with an 80’s inspired synthwave soundtrack.
Never played a computer game in your life? Hardcore gamer? Stopped playing back in the Commodore 64 days? The Cardboard Arcade is for you!