Named after the Elizabethan playwright, Christopher Marlowe, the theatre is a prominent feature in Canterbury, Kent. It offers a wealthy programme of plays, receiving many major West End musicals, opera productions, stand-up comedy shows, dance performances and musical concerts. Its range of pantomimes have seen notable performances from Natalie imbruglia, Gareth Gates and Martine McCutcheon.
Alongside many of the leading touring productions, the theatre also provides a range of workshops for young people. The programmes are designed to boost skills in acting, writing and dance, in addition to instilling confidence and creativity. Workshops target different ages, abilities and interests, delivered within The Marlowe Youth Theatre, The Marlowe Dance Company, The Marlowe People’s Company and The Marlowe Playwrights.
The theatre flaunts a fairly new building, due a series of redevelopments. In 1984, the Marlowe moved locations from a site on St Margaret’s Street to former 1930s cinema and host of the premiere for ‘A Canterbury Tale’ in 1944, The Friars. Further developments lead to the demolition of the cinema and a new-purpose built theatre in its place; the Marlowe is now smaller in size, but with a larger capacity - praised for having no seat over 25 metres away from the stage. The building is equipped with two modern auditoria, a performance space, bars and a restaurant, and a landscaped walkway to connect the theatre to the nearby River Stour.