Bristol Ferment

Bristol Ferment is Bristol Old Vic’s artist development programme dedicated to supporting the exploration and creation of exciting new work from inspiring theatre makers from Bristol & the South West.

Bristol Ferment is 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 programme and is punctuated by two Ferment Festivals in January and July which 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
Assistant Producer is Lina B. Frank

For general enquiries please email [email protected]

If you are a playwright, your first contact should be with Sharon Clark, Literary Producer

We have recently been awarded a grant by Esmee Fairbairn Foundation which is to go towards this area of work across the next five years. This money is to invest directly in artists, and will be used to finance a bespoke programme of research and development, mentoring, dramaturgical support, residencies, work in progress/scratch, commissions and production.


Bristol Ferment Festivals (Jan/July)

Portfolio image: Bristol Ferment - Bristol Ferment Festival July 2011
The Ferment festivals are performance punctuations in an ongoing programme of creativity which sees us identifying, nurturing and developing exhilarating new theatre of all kinds.rnrnThis two week blitz is about us facilitating a space where budding ideas can meet you, our audience, who, by letting us know what you think, can help to shape the theatre of tomorrow. rnrnFor listings and information go to, befriend us on Facebook at and rnfollow us on twitter @bristolferment

More info (opens external website)