WHAT IS IT ABOUT?
Martin Figura returns to Wordfest where he performing in public for the very first time at the 1998 Open Mic. At the centre of Whistle, is his mother’s death at the hands of his father when he was nine years old. Whistle goes beyond this shocking central event to tell a moving coming-of-age story where the poet depicts a post-war British childhood through poetry, story-telling and striking visuals created from family photographs, archive and original material. Martin, with his sisters, was taken in by relatives and sent to boarding school, then abandoned and taken into care until former neighbours fostered him. He visited his father in Broadmoor, and then at a local hospital, until his release in 1972. Martin left school at 15 to join the Army. He left in 1997 as a major to become a professional photographer. He has been widely published and exhibited, including in the National Portrait Gallery. Whistle was first published by Arrowhead Press as a poetry collection in 2010. In this hour-long multi-media piece, he explores themes of identity, forgiveness, loss, adoption and family with insight and gentle humour to give the audience a profound and uplifting experience.