Ferment Fortnight kicks off its biannual explosion of work-in-progress and scratch performances from 11 July. Here, Producer Helen Edwards and Director Agnieszka Blonska’s gives us an inside look at their production Polish Vermin. Catch it at Arnolfini on Thu 13 July.
Tell us a bit about yourself…
We’re a group of Polish and British collaborators exploring the lives of EU migrants living in the UK in the wake of the Brexit vote. We are Agnieszka Blonska – director, Patrycja Kujawska – performer, Michal Iwanowski – visuals, Benji Bower – sound designer and Helen Edwards – producer.
What are you presenting at Ferment Fortnight?
We’ve been talking about making this show for about six months, but have only been working on it together in the room for the last couple of weeks. The Bristol Ferment performance is the first tentative (or not so tentative) steps in sharing this work with an audience. This isn’t the finished piece, but these are some of our ideas and we hope it provokes a conversation with the audience.
What inspired/influenced your piece?
The world has changed hugely over the last eighteen months – with the Brexit vote, the election of Trump in America, the rise of the far right in Poland and increased numbers of hate crimes being reported. There are almost daily news stories appearing which inspire and influence this project. We don’t presume to have an answer, but we want to explore what these subjects (particularly the Brexit vote) mean to each of us. How do we make the politics personal and how do we stand up when we don’t like what we see going on around us.
What does the work that Ferment do mean to you?
Ferment offers us an opportunity to share our work at this early stage in a supported environment. We’re excited to be developing this piece in Cornwall, a county that voted leave and Bristol, a city that voted remain. After the Ferment sharing we’ll be presenting the piece at the Newlyn Art Gallery in Cornwall later in the week. It feels really important that we share this work with these different audiences and see what people think. This is the first time we’ve presented something in Ferment so we’re excited to see what happens.
What would you say the audience can expect in three words?
A conversation starter.
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.