Ferment Fortnight kicks off its biannual explosion of work-in-progress and scratch performances from 26 Jan. Here Annie Siddons gives us an inside look into the world of Dennis of Penge. Catch it at the Wardrobe Theatre on the festival’s opening night.
Tell us a bit about yourself and how you got involved with Ferment
I first got involved with Ferment when Emma B, the doness of Ferment, came to see my first Edinburgh show, Raymondo. She liked it and so got right behind our second show How (not) to live in Suburbia which we did an early scratch of in July 2015 . We love Ferment and its audience so we wanted to do the earliest scratch of the new show with you.
How would you describe your latest show in the Ferment Fortnight
Dennis of Penge is about a woman at the end of her rope who meets a mysterious figure from her past in a chicken shop.
It’s about survival, poverty and ecstasy in the city. The scratch you will see is literally me reading you some poetry. The final show will involve some other performers and some live music.
What do you expect the audience will take away from your piece?
I hope they enjoy the story and the words and the way it’s told and the fact that they are the first people to see it.
What’s been the biggest challenge/most exciting moment so far?
The biggest challenge is finding time to write. I don’t have writer’s block or procrastination – I am a rigorous mofo – but I do have a tiny company – 2.5 people – with lots to do – plus two kids etc – and I have to be really disciplined about carving out writing time and sometimes it gets to be point where I am coming out in spiritual and actual hives and I just have to go away and write for a few days till I calm down.
What are you looking forward to most over the Fortnight?
We’re flying in and out – see above for the reasons why – not literally flying – we are not grand – but there’s so much good stuff – even in the first couple of days I’d be watching House of Blakewell and Adam Kammerling for starters. I love finding new artists to be inspired by and make friends slash future collabs with.
Ferment Fortnight takes place at The Wardrobe Theatre 26-28 Jan before returning to Bristol Old Vic 31 Jan-2 Feb. For more info and to book tickets, click here.