Venue Magazine met one of Bristol Ferment’s Producers, Emma Bettridge, to talk everything Ferment:
What’s going to be happening in the July Ferment fortnight?
We’ve got 17 lovely shows, all at different stages of their lives. We go from script-based work to site specific performances, with lots of things happening in and around the building. I am a little over-excited at the prospect of our Farmers’ Market taking place in the theatre foyer. We’re still confirming the line-up but it’s going to be really lovely and chilled, with lots of different types of food, drink and craft stalls!
Could you give some examples of the artists who are appearing in it and the kind of work they’re doing?
Dan Canham is bringing his latest piece of dance/theatre – ‘Ours Was the Fen Country’. A piece based on interviews with those living on that mysterious flat piece of land out in the East of England. This work has had an early showing already, to much acclaim, so it will be a piece more ‘run in’ than say ‘The Heat’ by George Gotts – a script-in-hand showing of her latest piece. We have a heady mix of script-based work, puppet-based, dance-based, book-based and devising-based stuff. The point is to create a real mix of what’s being made in our lovely region. For a few bob you can sample a variety of styles of work across ten days. What’s not to like?
Ferment obviously has benefits for the artists involved – what do you think audiences gets out of it?
Audiences get a stake in the outcome of a piece of work. They get to feel involved and there is an intimacy between artist and audience that can only really exist in this environment. They also often get to see things very cheaply! All our shows are £4. £4! For that money you can take a punt on a show and be surprised and delighted or not too upset if you didn’t enjoy it so much (better than seeing some tut in the West End and regretting that £80 ticket…).