A blog about art and the soul

By Joy L. Martin

It must go further still: that soul must become its own betrayer, its own deliverer, the one activity, the mirror turn lamp.     (W. B. Yeats)

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Niamh in Spindrift_credit TOR-L

Spindrift by curious directive

30 May 2022 (Originally published in The Stage on 30 May 2022) Spindrift, a devised show by Norwich-based company curious directive (which styles its name in lower case), is a dreamy, compelling exploration of quantum biology and family relationships. This impressionistic, multi-screen and multimedia piece, directed by the company’s artistic…

Home, I’m Darling at Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds

28 March 2022 (Originally published in The Stage on 28 March 2022) Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds’ new in-house production of Laura Wade’s Olivier Award-winning comedy Home, I’m Darling is gingham and crinolines, lipstick and lindy hop, cocktail shakers and trilbies…plus #MeToo and simmering sexism. Directed by Owen Calvert-Lyons, this show sparkles…

Same Time, Next Year at Theatre Royal Bury St. Edmunds

22 Feb 2022 (Originally published in The Stage on 22/2/22) Bernard Slade’s witty romantic comedy exploring the deepest questions we ask ourselves about love and life was first performed in New York in 1975. Slade’s writing has aged gracefully, and this highly entertaining and thoughtful touring production from London Classic…
Art by Lesley C. Weston, commissioned by MoonPark Review

Short Fiction: “Craig” (Published in MoonPark Review, Winter 2020/2021)

21 December 2020. Afterwards you have these fantasies of him tracking you down and finding you. Opening your front door, and he’s standing there. And you think about what you wished you had said but didn’t before he walked away in the cold, white morning air.  In your bedroom in…
'The Wind in the Willows', Cambridge Junction 2019, credit Claire Haigh

The Wind in the Willows by the Figs in Wigs at Cambridge Junction

16 December 2019. (Originally published in The Stage on 16 December 2019) Performance collective Figs in Wigs applies its distinctive style of joyous, high-concept whimsy to the pantomime format in a fantastically imagined and enjoyable production of The Wind in the Willows at Cambridge Junction. Written by Rachel Gammon, Suzanna Hurst, Sarah Moore,…
A scene from "SALT (The Marvellous Puppet Show)" by Bämsemble. (Photo by Mario Lensi)

The Birth of Superdrama

28 February 2019. (Originally published in American Theatre magazine on 29 January 2019 under the title 'It's Noh, It's Viewpoints - It's Superdrama'.) “It is not the object of art to make life comfortable for the fat bourgeois so that he may nod his head: ‘Yes, yes, that’s the way it is!…

Serendipity Story #1: The Sign of the Pilgrim

31 Oct 2017. When I visited St-Jean-Pied-de-Port, France, in July 2016, I didn’t know that I was visiting as a pilgrim-to-be. My tall, wild French boyfriend drove me there in his vintage Citroën Mehari. Holding hands (not able not to hold hands), we walked through the hilly, winding, cobbled streets,…
'Aquamarine Cobb', Used Courtesy of Artist Hilary Buckley

Serendipity Story #2: The List of Dreams

10 October 2017... It was early August 2016, a few days after I put all my worldly possessions in a storage unit at Cambridge’s Newmarket Road industrial estate and watched the Frenchman drive away in his vintage Citroen station wagon, hauling a now-empty trailer and bound for the ferry at…
'Spot of Tea' by Dolly Mohr

Serendipity Story #3: A Joke

6 December 2017... During my stay in Branscombe, Devon in August 2016, serendipity delivered the idea for how my life might shape up as a wandering pilgrim. I had secured a four-month house sit for the coming winter: from November to March I would be staying in a closed-for-the-winter Bn’B,…
Vladimir Kush 'Butterfly Mother in a Book'

Serendipity Story #4: Before You Are a Butterfly, You Have to Be a Chrysalis

6 March 2018. So, where was I? My home, job and relationship had vanished overnight on 5 August 2016. After placing everything I owned into storage, at first I dragged myself and my big red suitcase to Devon, where I re-discovered that I had a list of dreams inside me,…

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