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The Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury Staff Members at Risk of Redundancy

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The Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury Staff Members at Risk of Redundancy

Consultations with the venue's staff and the trade unions have begun and could result in 30% of the charity's staff losing their jobs.

The Marlowe's Chief Executive Deborah Shaw said,

"We're working hard to ensure that The Marlowe will reopen again as soon as it is safe to do so, but as an independent charity without regular funding from Arts Council England, the impact of the pandemic has been immense.

"Up until this moment, we've worked hard to protect the livelihoods of all the people that we employ, including a commitment to pay our casual staff members through to the end of the job retention scheme."

Our brilliant team is what makes The Marlowe such a hugely successful organisation, which is why it's particularly painful to have to make this decision."

As a non-funded organisation, 99% of The Marlowe's income comes directly from tickets and related sales; revenue streams which disappeared overnight when the venue was forced to temporarily close on 17 March.

97% of the workforce have been furloughed under the government's job retention scheme.

The venue has cancelled or rescheduled some 288 performances since the start of lockdown. Conversations are continuing with producers of shows currently scheduled in the autumn, with further announcements expected in the coming weeks.

It has encouraged all ticket holders for cancelled productions to support the theatre by donating the value of their tickets or opting to take their refund as credit on their account.

Chair of The Marlowe Trust, Jonathan Church CBE said, "This pandemic has had a devastating impact on our cultural industries, with theatres the length and breadth of the country being forced to make very similar decisions as ourselves.

We're encouraged by the government's recently announced commitment to support our industry, but even in the event of securing this additional support we will be operating in a very different world for the foreseeable future, making these heart-breaking changes necessary."

Deborah Shaw said, "The best way to support The Marlowe right now is to donate to our Love Your Theatre campaign or buy tickets for future performances. We're planning to announce new shows taking place in 2021 in the coming weeks and as ever, you can book safe in the knowledge that all customers have the option of a full refund if the show doesn't go ahead as planned."

Further information on how to support the theatre can be found at

Final decisions on redundancies will not be made until the completion of the consultation. Any organisations who are interested in recruiting staff are asked to contact The Marlowe via with any available opportunities which will be circulated to all those affected.

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