Morecambe's new playhouse hosts top poetry couple for Valentine's Night show

Martin Figura and Helen Ivory will be the first guest performers to appear at the all-new West End Playhouse in Morecambe. Picture: Dave Guttridge
Martin Figura and Helen Ivory will be the first guest performers to appear at the all-new West End Playhouse in Morecambe. Picture: Dave Guttridge

A married couple of award-winning writers will host a night in Morecambe for lovers (of poetry, that is) on the most romantic day of the year.

Acclaimed poets Martin Figura and Helen Ivory will be the first guest performers to appear at the all-new West End Playhouse in Morecambe when their show comes to town on Valentine’s night, Friday, February 14.

Martin and Helen, who live in Norwich, will be performing together in Morecambe but have also achieved individual success in their chosen field.

Figura’s collection and show ‘Whistle’ was shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Award and won the 2013 Saboteur Award for Best Spoken Word Show. His current touring show The Dr Zeeman’s Catastrophe Machine Show was shortlisted in the 2018 Saboteur Awards.

Helen’s fifth Bloodaxe collection The Anatomical Venus was winner of the East Anglian Writers Book by the Cover Award and shortlisted for the poetry category in the East Anglian Book Awards 2019.

Matt Panesh, director of the West End Playhouse, said: “In the world of poetry, there is a lot of love for Martin and Helen by audiences and critics alike.

“So with it being Valentine’s Night, and them being a couple, there’s nobody better to appear at our first ticketed gig at the West End Playhouse. All the stars and moons have aligned!”

Martin said: "Helen and I happily spend nearly all our time together in the same room, where we each write very differently - which is both a fact and a metaphor waiting to be strangled. Sounds sickening doesn’t it?

“But hey it’s Valentine’s Day, come along and let us show you our warts - although we don’t have warts, we’re both actually very beautiful. We do joint readings a lot and no-one has ever thrown anything at us.”

The West End Playhouse on Yorkshire Street, Morecambe, will open at 7.30pm on Valentine’s Night for an 8pm start. Admission is £5.

The Playhouse officially opened on February 1 with a cabaret night attended by Councillor David Whitaker, mayor of Lancaster, and town crier John Barnes who declared the Playhouse open.

The West End Playhouse, based in a former shop unit in the West End of Morecambe, aims to give local people a platform to try poetry, stand-up comedy, theatre and other live performance art.

Wednesday Workshops are now under way for anyone who wants to devise and develop an act for this summer’s Morecambe Fringe festival.

Just turn up for the Arts Council England-funded nights at the West End Playhouse from 7pm to 9pm every Wednesday.