“Profoundly honest and at the same time joyfully entertaining” Independent on Sunday At the centre of Martin Figura’s Whistle is the mother’s death at the hands of his father when he was nine years old. The work goes beyond this shocking central event to present us with a tender, beautiful, funny and moving coming-of-age story. Figura uses gentle humour and insight to give the reader and audience a profound and uplifting experience.

The Book

Whistle was published by Arrowhead Press in 2010. The poem Victor was awarded the Poetry Society’s 2010 Hamish Canham Prize and the book, together with the show was short-listed for the 2010 Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry .  It won the 2013 Saboteur Best Spoken Word Show Award.  The collection has received a clutch of rave reviews.

The Show

Produced by Sarah Ellis of Apples and Snakes and directed by James Grieve.  It has been performed over sixty times  at numerous festivals and theatres across the UK since 2010, including StAnza, Ledbury , The Edinburgh Festival Fringe,a week  long residency the the London Roundhouse and a British Council Tour of India.

Reviews for the book and performances can be found  here and excerpts are available  here.

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

Scottish Poetry Library  Podcast  of interview with Ryan Van Winkle at StAnza.