Poetic humour and nostalgia as Martin asks big questions

Martin Figura. Picture: Sam Christmas
Martin Figura. Picture: Sam Christmas

Love, loss and nostalgia for past decades are the subject matter of poet Martin Figura’s forthcoming show in Bedford.

Called Doctor Zeeman’s Catastrophe Machine, it comes to the Quarry Theatre on Saturday at 12 noon as part of the Bedfringe festival.

The show tells the story of Martin’s life through the latter half of the 20th century, the “post war, mod or rocker generation” of which he is a part, up to the present day. It is illustrated by photographs, illustrations and short films while the titular Catastrophe Machine, built by mathematician Zeeman in an attempt to use mathematics to predict human behaviour, is an imposing stage presence.

Former Army Major Figura rose to national acclaim with his book and stageshow Whistle which toured extensively in the UK and India and won the Hamish Canham Prize, the Sabotage Best Spoken Word Show Award and was nominated for the Ted Hughes Award.

The show focuses on the adult life Martin made for himself, following his portrayal of the shocking events surrounding his mother’s death at the hand of his father when Martin was just nine years olddescribed in his show Whistle.

Martin examines love, loss and when to let go, and asks where there is an equation for love and what can be retrieved from life’s catastrophes and wounds.

The show is illustrated with visual projections and an atmospheric soundscape and the script was developed and edited with support from poet and multimedia artist Ross Sutherland.

Tickets cost £9 or £8 for concessions. Visit www.bedfringe.com to book.