At the centre of Martin Figura’s Whistle is his mother’s death at the hands of his father when he was nine years old.

Based on the book Whistle (Arrowhead Press, 2010), the Apples and Snakes produced show was directed by James Grieve received major Arts Council funding. Martin performed it over sixty times, including at the London Roundhouse, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Stanza and Ledbury Festivals and as a British Council tour of India.

The show won the Saboteur 2013 Best Spoken Word Show and was nominated for the Ted Hughes Award in 2010. A new edition of the book was published by Cinnamon Press in 2018. He won the Poetry Society’s Hamish Canham Prize in 2010 for the poem Victor from the collection. The show has been revived for selected performances in 2018 and 2019. It is available for booking again.

The show uses family photographs, archive and original materials in beautiful and imaginative visuals created by Visual Creator Andre Barreau and Animator and Technical Designer Karen Hall.

Reviews and Feedback

“Profoundly honest and at the same time joyfully entertaining.”
Independent on Sunday

“… amazing and both of us feel it was the best thing we saw in Edinburgh last week – extremely moving and memorable.”
Julie Christie and Duncan Campbell

“The work goes beyond this shocking central event to present us with a tender, beautiful, funny and moving childhood and coming-of-age story, which the poetry conveyed vividly to my imagination, as did Martin Figura’s telling of it, which was spellbinding.”
Chloe Garner, Director Ledbury Poetry Festival

“… the first show I ever gave a standing ovation. It was a tour de force – moving and deeply courageous, without ever being mawkish or self- indulgent.”
Jo Bell Director of National Poetry Day

“…. Tym’s response was extraordinary, for a quiet, non-poetic man like him. ‘Brilliant! he exclaimed. ‘Absolutely bloody brilliant!’ And he kept on saying it all the way home.”
Jennifer Curry

The Whole One Hour Show mostly filmed at Culture Lab, Newcastle University.  The sound is a little shonky here and there, but still very watchable: