Ferment Fortnight Preview | We Can Time Travel

Following a blinding week of work at Arnolfini, Ferment Fortnight continues its work-in-progress mini-fest in our theatre 18-20 July. Here, Dom Coyote gives us an inside look at the upcoming We Can Time Travelon-stage Thu 20 July.


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Tell us a bit about yourself…
Hello, Dom Coyote here. I’m a musician and theatre maker. I sing, write songs and play lots of instruments like analogue synths and electric guitars and some strange instruments from far off climbs. I like making stories and building worlds to tell them in. I’m a big collaborator with Kneehigh Theatre and they taught me everything I know pretty much. When I’m making my own work, I make Gig-Theatre, a cross pollination of music gig and theatre. It’s different from a musical, in case you’re wondering. I recently made a show called Songs for the End of the World, which just finished a UK tour. It’s a big noisy show inspired by Bowie, Tom Waits, and the End of the World.

What are you presenting at Ferment Fortnight?
I’m presenting the first public experiment of something new. It’s called We Can Time Travel. I’m ridiculously excited about it. It’s an experiment in Time Travel, and a story about a version of me from an alternate reality; a hack scientist who believes he’s receiving messages from a Victorian Time Traveler watching the sun die at the edge of Time. It’s a solo piece with loads of live looping, electronics, acapella singing, analogue synths, and storytelling. I’m throwing the kitchen sink at this one.

What inspired/influenced your piece?
Well I wanted to make something about now. I am a huge sci-fi fan. And for me, the best science fiction sheds a light on the present day, It holds a mirror up to society, and often the reflection is pretty ugly. The last few years have seen monumental shifts in our world , Brexit, Refugee Crisis, massive political shifts, evil presidents, monstrous prime ministers, huge inequality – it’s an epic, frightening time and it keeps on coming. And sometimes I feel totally numb to it. I wanted to make something about the pace of change, and how to regain hope, to believe that we can change the future and learn from our past….and also I got a new synth. And it sounds awesome.

What does the work that Ferment do mean to you?
The work Ferment does is vital. Bristol is brimming with inspiring, independent artists, making exceptional work. Ferment gives this community of wonders a platform to take that work to the next stage. And it’s fantastic that Bristol has an audience that’s hungry for new work and to be challenged and surprised by what artists have to offer.

What would you say the audience can expect in three words?
Epic Gig-Theatre.


Ferment Fortnight returns to the Bristol Old Vic Theatre stage 18-20 July. For more info and to book tickets, click here.

Ferment Fortnight Preview | A Million Tiny Glitches

Following a blinding week of work at Arnolfini, Ferment Fortnight continues its work-in-progress mini-fest in our theatre 18-29 July. Here, Sleepdogs’ Director and Producer Tanuja Amarasuriya gives us an inside look at A Million Tiny Glitches.


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Tell us a bit about yourself…
We’re Sleepdogs, a collaboration between director / producer Tanuja Amarasuriya and writer / composer Timothy X Atack – although for Ferment we’re also joined by actors Kayla Meikle, Simon Mokhele and Zoe West, and movement director Coral Messam.

What are you presenting at Ferment Fortnight?
Some very very early explorations into an electronic musical called A Million Tiny Glitches. It’s the story of 3 friends, one of whom dies. The two left behind deal with their grief in some extraordinary ways, and one of them effectively builds a city out of their pain, hiding deep within it. The last remaining friend ventures into this strange world to find him. We’ll be playing the bare bones of some songs – in a suitably loud fashion, we hope – with some narrative and movement stuff alongside. There’s been much experimenting with what digital tech can do to live vocals, how onstage movement can complement gig-like or band-like performance styles, that kind of thing… it’s by far the most tentative, early-doors work we’ve ever shown at Ferment, but we hope it’ll be intriguing to anyone who might wonder what could happen when you mash up stage musicals and electronica

What inspired/influenced your piece?
Björk, China Mieville, ANOHNI, FKA Twigs, Wings Of Desire, Back To Back Theatre and Haruki Murakami are among our aesthetic influences for this one. At festivals like Sonar in Barcelona we’ve been particularly taken by the way a lot of electronic musicians have been presenting their gigs: making evocative, moving shows out of what might ostensibly be quite dry ‘one producer and a laptop’ experiences. But the biggest inspirations have been our families and friends in recent years, the shock of losing loved ones in different ways, the things it does to you – both good and bad. We both liked the idea of responding to these life lessons by making a big, joyous, modern musical about those troublesome, age-old, bittersweet puzzles.

What does the work that Ferment do mean to you?
We wouldn’t be where we are without Ferment, on so many levels. Alongside the brilliant audiences, it’s not just that Emma, Helen (and Kate and Lina before them) have encouraged, developed and commissioned our work – it’s the way they feed the broader conversation between everyone making and watching theatre in the city. They rock. And you rock. Yes, you.

What would you say the audience can expect in three words?
Songs / sidechains / bass.


Ferment Fortnight returns to the Bristol Old Vic Theatre stage 18-20 July. For more info and to book tickets, click here.

INKBLOC Ensemble Cast Bio | Alex

Ahead of their debut show, LEGO Beach, we sat down with INKBLOC Ensemble to discover a little more about this year’s Made in Bristol troupe.

Here we caught up with Alex to find out all about her Bristol Old Vic theatre background.



AlexWhat have you been involved in at the Bristol Old Vic and outside of Made in Bristol?
I was in young company for a term and I really enjoyed my time there, so I was determined to maintain my involvement with Bristol Old Vic. With this in mind I helped out back stage with the ‘Under a Cardboard Sea’ production, which was a great experience. Since then I had a role in ‘The Love of the Nightingale’ performance as Niobe, which was an amazing Young Company production to be a part of. Previously, I have studied at the North Bristol post 16 centre doing Drama, Literature and Performing Arts and have always tried to gear my studies towards performance.

What is this year for you?
For me, this year has been a right laugh but also a challenge.

Favourite thing about INKBLOC?
I didn’t expect to gain a place on this programme but when I did it opened up doors to be the best gap year! My favourite thing about INKBLOC is the cracking people; many a time I’ve been in hysterics with the gang, but we always knuckle down and create work and support each other

Plans for the future?
My plan for the future is to start university in September at Bath Spa and study acting.

Tell us something interesting?
I can quote all 9 seasons of RuPaul’s Drag Race (extraordinary show) and that I have a serious addiction to eating grated cheese out of the bag.


LEGO Beach is INKBLOC Ensemble’s debut show, on Walkabout at 1532 Performing Arts Centre 19-22 July. For more information and to book, click here

Ferment Fortnight Preview | Plow

Ferment Fortnight kicks off its biannual explosion of work-in-progress and scratch performances from 11 July. Here, Sharon Clark gives us an inside look at her play Plow. Catch it at Arnolfini on the festival’s opening night.


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I am a Bristol-based playwright and Creative Director of the theatre company Raucous, a resident of Pervasive Media Studio and lecturer in Writing for Performance at Bath Spa University.

At this summer’s Ferment Fortnight Nel Crouch will be directing a rehearsed reading of my latest script, Plow, which recently made it to the top 5 of the PapaTango Award. With my company Raucous I write for immersive, site-specific theatre that fuses film, music and digital technology, The Stick House was our last production. But Plow is another side of my writing, a contemporary political drama that follows the journey of a woman as she silently treks her way across four states in America. She unwittingly becomes a social media darling, a saviour for the lost and a government headache, but can she ever be what everyone wants her to be?

Plow is based on an article I read in a newspaper a couple of years ago and which stuck with me as one of those tales where fiction cannot compete with the truth. I didn’t set out to write a play set in the States but with what is happening over there at the moment, and what is happening on a bigger global stage, I just wanted to write something about how those events can directly affect a small, seemingly insignificant character – a kind of Everywoman.

With this play, Ferment gives me the all too rare opportunity of hearing it for the first time in front of an audience. I can gauge the moment when the play works, by watching the audience as they imperceptibly shift in their seat and the moment when the story loses them. It is also allows me the opportunity to face the audience after, to hear first hand what they thought, to gather feedback, comments and suggestions. This is a rare luxury when often the first time you see an audience interact with the play is the first night of the production – an incredibly exposed place for the writer to be.

I wrote Plow to be a large play – not in terms of building something epic for the Olivier stage (I wish) but in terms of the variety of voices, the distance covered, a wide range of characters, ever present music and spanning space and time. I want to see if this works in how the audience follows the story and if it gives them enough time to engage with the characters and care for them. It’s really only when an audience is in the room can you make the crucial discoveries that take a script onto its next, and hopefully stronger, stage.


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.

INKBLOC Ensemble Cast Bio | Casey

Ahead of their debut show, LEGO Beach, we sat down with INKBLOC Ensemble to discover a little more about this year’s Made in Bristol troupe.

Here we caught up with Casey to find out all about his Bristol Old Vic theatre background.


CaseyWhere have you studied and how did you become involved with Made in Bristol?
Having not really been involved with Bristol Old Vic or the Young Company for a long time, I found myself stumbling upon the Made In Bristol scheme post-graduation from theatre school. I trained in Musical Theatre at the London College of Music, I was looking for a way to fuse my musical skills and passion for creating fresh, new pieces of theatre and felt Made in Bristol was the perfect opportunity to do this.

What is this year for you?
This year for me has been about experimenting with a collective of 11 other different artists, all from different walks of life. Being able to learn and develop as a performer from working as a close-knit ensemble has made the whole experience of starting a company so much more enjoyable and intriguing.

Plans for the future?
Following this amazing year, I am looking to continue working as a Freelance Performer as well as continuing my journey as a profound up-and-coming theatre maker with the wonderful team at INKBLOC and Bristol Old Vic.

Tell us something interesting?
I have a super strange liking of Bonsai Tree’s and I am a keen guitarist.


LEGO Beach is INKBLOC Ensemble’s debut show, on Walkabout at 1532 Performing Arts Centre 19-22 July. For more information and to book, click here