Ferment Fortnight kicks off its biannual explosion of work-in-progress and scratch performances from 11 July. Here, Raquel Meseguer gives us an inside look at Unchartered Collective’s Someone Should Start Laughing. Catch it at Arnolfini on Wed 12 July.
Tell us a bit about yourself…
I get irrationally happy about tahini, kale and baby spider plants. I have a love affair with Nick Cave, Nil Frahm, and Jamie McCarthy’s music. I have had chronic pain for nearly 10 years and they are my go to when the s**t hit the fan.
What are you presenting at Ferment Fortnight?
We are presenting an immersive piece called Someone Should Start Laughing, for 10 members at a time. It’s an intimate performance for a select audience.
What inspired/influenced your Someone Should Start Laughing?
I wanted to have a frank conversation about my condition with my father, just once. I wanted to ask him what it’s been like to watch me go through this, and what dreams he’s had to let go of. Then I wanted to go to the pub and drink Whisky with him. But when I asked him, he said “no, I don’t think it’s a good idea”.
And I realised how taboo chronic illness is, and how hard it is to talk about it. Theatre offers a space to engage with what is other. It offers a space to play with new language, and action. And it offers a space to tell stories, and connect across difference. It’s ambitious, but this is what we are attempting to do. Alongside this, the task we have set ourselves is to make you laugh. At any cost.
What does the work that Bristol Old Vic Ferment do mean to you?
It means the chance to develop new and radical theatre. It’s the chance to test an idea and see what sinks and what swims.
What would you say the audience can expect in three words?
Tragedy. Comedy. Intimacy.
Ferment Fortnight takes place at Arnolfini 11-13 July before returning to Bristol Old Vic 18-20 July. For more info and to book tickets, click here.