M A R T I N   F O R E M A N

Author / Director / Playwright / Actor

"utterly convincing portraits of love " Broadway World

" .. strong piece of theatre" Broadway Baby

"emotionally charged and thought-provoking theatre" The Gay UK

"a masterclass on the art of the monologue" Beige

"words always deeply poetic" Views from the Gods

" .. well acted and craftily staged" britishtheatreguide.info

".. thoroughly enjoyable .. have you laughing" All Edinburgh Theatre

"the script is ingeniously structured" All Edinburgh Theatre

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I wrote many short stories in early adulthood and had four books published, listed here. I have written very little fiction since the early 2000s. My books - fiction and drama - are available on Amazon and from Arbery Books. Some of my stories are also available as Arbery Podcasts.

Although some of my work, particularly my initial writing, focused on the gay experience in the UK, my later writing has a much broader perspective, covering many identities, experiences, time frames and locations.

  2002 FIRST AND FIFTIETH and other stories  

"a strong, distinctive and powerful voice . . . never anything less than diverting"
all reviews

"Sometimes you sit, watch the trains, the sunset, the rain. Sometimes you talk. Tell your story if you've a mind to.

Trouble is, memory changes things. Things you want to forget. Things you want to remember that never happened. Happens to everybody.

Gets so, nobody's story's true. Not yours, not mine.
But it's all we've got."

My second collection of short stories comprises first person narratives spanning the globe from Rio de Janeiro to Los Angeles, Africa to Nepal, London to Siberia.

Men and women from teenagers to grandparents each speak in a distinctive voice and with intense emotion as love and sex, violence and humour, anger and pathos meet in a kaleidoscope of human tragedy and comedy.

With one exception, which becomes clear as the narrative progresses, the stories are arranged in chronological order of the narrator. Several of the stories have become one-man/one-woman plays and are available as playscripts.
First and Fiftieth by Martin Foreman
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  1996 (UK); 1997 (Taiwan); 2009 (US) THE BUTTERFLY'S WING  

"remarkable ... a riveting tale of suspense and intrigue"
all reviews

"I was young enough not to realise what I was letting myself in for, and young enough that if I had known I would not have cared. I walked into the courtyard in shorts and a crumpled shirt open almost to the waist, a battered rucksack on my shoulders. I was finally shown into a cool dark room lined with dusty books and old icons, where I waited for quarter of an hour, doubting the wisdom of my decision. A short elderly woman entered and addressed me in a French whose accent I found difficult to follow. Slowly, we managed to communicate. I had heard she might need an English teacher; perhaps I could take the job."

Andy McIllray and Tom Dayton are a well-matched couple in their thirties, happy after four years together. Andy has a high-flying job with an international organisation while Tom has given up unrewarding work in catering to look after the smallholding they have bought in Berkshire. Disaster strikes when Andy's work takes him to Peru, where he is kidnapped by the Shining Path guerrilla movement. Tom not only has to deal with Andy's absence but with the intrusion of the tabloid press, which has far-reaching consequences.

The Butterfly's Wing by Martin Foreman
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An ambitious novel cast in the form of two diaries which record the torment both men are thrown into and which forces them each to face hidden truths about themselves and their relationship. Written in the 1990s, the story weaves major issues of the world at that time with personal agonies as it moves towards its dramatic denouement.

My most widely reviewed and highly praised book. In addition to print runs in the UK and US, an unauthorised translation was published in Taiwan; more copies were sold in Chinese than in both English-language editions together.

  1993 A SENSE OF LOSS and other stories  

"an excellent book"      "highly recommended"
all reviews

"He is not handsome, but his nose and jaw are strong and sweat drips down his cheeks from his damp and dark hair. He has no expression, is as unseeing as if hypnotised or drugged or mindless. His chest is strong and the sweat flows down, down, over the hollow of his stomach to be absorbed by the band of white. There his sex is veiled, virginal, vigilant.

I want to take him, to have and to hold him, to kiss and lick and stroke and arouse. He would be mine to make as I wish and yet he would never change. He would listen and learn and yet be my teacher. He would lie in my bed, our bed, and be made love to, he would overpower me and make me his. We would fight and forgive, leave and live and love each other. He is everything I desire, he is my desire and he is here before me, he is here for me."

My first collection of short stories. A counterpoint of different gay voices, some reflecting the shifting kaleidoscope of gay reality in 1990s Britain: the sexual compulsion of Room With No View, the high-energy rhythm of Discotheque - Four Voices (quoted above) or the cynical manipulation of
A Sense of Loss by Martin Foreman
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Simon's Dinner Party.

Other stories take the reader to wider horizons - to Brazil and the landscape of allegory and myth - while the title story - spoken by the silent youth in Thomas Mann's (and Luchino Visconti's) Death in Venice - later became the one-man play Tadzio Speaks . . . .

  1990 (reprint 1991) WEEKEND  

"deserves the widest possible audience and should not be missed"
all reviews

"With consciousness, however, came memory; as the images and words of the previous evening flowed back the sunshine which had saturated the room with optimism seemed suddenly dull, colourless, a pledge of joy and happiness that would never be fulfilled. It was as if he had awoken not only from the previous night's sleep but from the last three months and the growing happiness he had felt had been no more real than the morning's dream which had already faded from his mind."

Two days in the life of a gay man in his twenties who is facing a crisis in his current relationship. Interwoven with the tensions between Mark and Robert are Mark's memories of two previous lovers - Gene, an introverted and self-sufficient painter who lives in Paris, and Carl, a barman who is content to do little more than commute between home and his lover. To an outsider these affairs appear neither deep nor long, but to Mark each has been almost frighteningly intense.

My first novel, not surprisingly autobiographical, a young man's book with a young man's desires, fears and
Weekend by Martin Foreman
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ignorance. As is common in my work, language and character predominate. On re-reading, I am still pleased with the rhythm and flow of words and ideas and I hope they impress others the same way.

  1987 - 2003 ANTHOLOGIES  

My work has appeared in these anthologies amongst others.



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