Ferment Fortnight kicks off its biannual explosion of work-in-progress and scratch performances from 24 Jan. Here, creator Amy Mason gives us an inside look at her production Hollering Woman Creek. Catch it at Bristol Old Vic on Thu 25 Jan.
Tell us a bit about yourself…
I’m a theatre maker, novelist and stand-up comic. My work is funny, dark and extremely honest. I’m interested in using personal stories to explore broader issues….in The Islanders this was love and the way we remember things, in Mass it was religion and faith.
What are you presenting at Ferment Fortnight?
My new show is called Hollering Woman Creek. It’s an autobiographical storytelling show with an original live country soundtrack, written and performed by award-winning folk musicians Megan Henwood and Jackie Oates. It’s my first new show since 2015 as I had some time off to have a baby.
What inspired/influenced your piece?
The show is about a trip to Texas I took when I was pregnant. I was researching the death penalty for a new novel. I had just been taken off my mood stabilising medication by my GP (I was being treated for bipolar 2) as she thought it may be bad for the foetus. So I turned up in Texas — this big oppressive state where women’s rights are under attack – and my own mental health began to deteriorate. So it’s this odd, funny, raw story about me on a macabre road trip, as well as a wider discussion of women’s rights and the different ways pregnancy can affect women. Pregnant women are meant to be immediately delighted about pregnancy, and to dismiss their own needs….pre-natal ambivalence and depression is taboo but is actually very common.
What does the work that Ferment do mean to you?
Ferment is where I developed both my previous shows and I owe them everything! It’s such a unique, supportive, scheme and has enabled me to make work that I’m really proud of.
What would you say the audience can expect in three words?
Storytelling, songs, Stetsons!
Ferment Fortnight takes place at Bristol Old Vic 24-25 Jan before moving across the city to Watershed and Loco Klu from 26 Jan-3 Feb. For more info and to book tickets, click here.