Martin Figura

Doctor Zeeman’s Catastrophe Machine


Martin Figura looks at love and life through a mathematical lens. Whilst Whistle explored his childhood, Doctor Zeeman’s Catastrophe Machine looks at the life he made after. In this new standalone show, Martin tells the story of his adulthood, using sound, images, poetry, machinery and the moon to navigate through marriage, divorce, a father/son road trip and raising a headstrong daughter with Down’s Syndrome. Poetic storytelling with searing honesty, wit and fun.

‘Figura was a revelation – funny, sharp and on top form.’

Robert McCrum – The Observer

Is there an equation for love and the behaviour of a beating heart? What can be retrieved from life’s catastrophes and wounds? When our windshield is blurred with rain and we’re wearing our reading glasses, can we learn to look in the rear-view mirror and smile?

A mathematical catastrophe being a point in a model of an input-output system, where a vanishingly small change in the input can produce a large change in the output. Christopher Zeeman invented his catastrophe machine to explain René Thom’s theory in an understandable way to his students in the 1970s. It consists of 2 elastic bands, and a wheel nailed to plywood.

Wed 8 May 2019
Theater aan het Vrijthof:
Price € 15


Written and performed 
Martin Figura
James Grieve
Sarah Ellis
Dave Gutteridge