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Edinburgh Fringe 2015

Show Your Hope

Mr Martin

Genre: Spoken Word, Storytelling, Visual Art

Venue: C-Venues


Low Down

Dutch storyteller Mr Martin travels the world sharing paintings he has collected from artists on the theme of hope. He has created a charming storytelling show recounting stories about the artists who choose to contribute their work while showing a selection of paintings. He tells several short stories and it moves along nicely – it’s visually interesting, too – and a lovely way to spend an hour or so.


Show Your Hope is a Mobile Global Storytelling Exhibition and performance presented by the charming Mr Martin. He travels the world meeting artists and asks them to paint a picture for his global communication project, which is to paint a panel on the theme of hope. Mr Martin’s yellow van is parked at the venue with a covered outdoor art exhibit with 100 paintings – all of which were provided by artists who really liked the goal of the project – to share stories of hope and communication, internationally. On-site, he has additional boxes full of paintings, because this project has successfully continued for several years.

Mr Martin has selected a wall full of painted panels which are on display as a colourful backdrop – and they also become the basis for his storytelling show. He takes one painting off the wall and tells us about the artist and how he chose to take part in the hope project. Mr Martin is not a painter and he tells us how he asks the artists about the meaning of the painting and how it portrays hope. The stories around each painting are fascinating, and surprising. As well as being thoroughly entertained we learn a little about artists and how they approach their work. Mr Martin has travelled in his truck sharing this project everywhere and collected paintings from artists in every country in Europe, India, Africa and more, so seeing the variety of work on the same theme from these countries is very interesting.

Originally from Holland, Martin has focused recently on his homeland, which is very diverse with more artists wanting to join the project, so his collection is still growing. Staying at home has added an unexpected element to his research – how refugees that are not allowed to work for several years while their status is processed have turned to painting, with poignant results. One of the last paintings is by an Eastern European woman surrounded by chickens – their flight symbolizes wanting to live freely. Mr Martin is a personable storyteller, a humanitarian, and his entertaining show (rain or shine!) moves along with many fascinating short stories, which change somewhat from show to show, so there is always something for everyone. His enthusiasm for storytelling is obvious and his warmth comes through every word.