Martyn Hett’s Funeral

MartynSeveral years ago I had the good fortune to work with the wonderful Figen Murray.  It was my first lecturing post and she was a lecturer in counselling.  She was extremely organised, remarkably tidy and good listener.  During our time working together, I went through a difficult time and she was calm, reassuring and kind.  We have both since gone on to better jobs and despite living near each other have not managed to keep in touch.  A few weeks ago, I was sitting on the sofa waiting to watch the Graham Norton Show and there was Figen on the local news.  Her son had been killed in the Manchester bomb.  She was, despite this devastating news, the calm reassuring presence I remembered.  I made the effort.  I went to the memorial for Martyn in the local park; I baked brownies and took them round and on Friday I went to Martyn’s funeral. Continue reading


Scuttlers – Royal Exchange (February 2015)


This will be a different blog entry. I suppose that all writing is about the author. This time, it is intentional. I was scared at the Royal Exchange theatre earlier this month and I want to write down why; to capture the emotional work I have undertaken in exploring my response to a play, to think about why injustice rails me. Continue reading

Hamlet – Royal Exchange (2014)

Maxine PeakeThe Royal Exchange theatre is one of the reasons why Manchester is a great place for a cultural life. It is everything that regional theatre should be: challenging, innovative, exciting and encased in original architecture. As soon as it was announced that Maxine Peake had been cast as Hamlet, I ordered my tickets. I am so glad I did: first because it sold out and second because she was superb. (You can find the range of reviews of her performance – here: Continue reading