The Marlowe to Celebrate Famous Writers of Canterbury
Opening on Saturday 6 April, Kent's Remarkable Writers: The Worlds of Christopher Marlowe, Aphra Behn and Joseph Conrad explores the lives of three writers, their connections to Canterbury and the different times in which they lived.
The exhibition is for all ages and gives visitors the opportunity to explore the past through a collection of objects and immersive activities that include the chance to dress-up as an Elizabethan actor and to use a vintage typewriter from Conrad's time.
The opening of the exhibition comes at a time when The Marlowe Kit has already had over 21,000 visits since it opened in September 2017, made up of mainly local residents and young people.
The exhibition is the latest addition to a programme of activities at The Marlowe Kit that aim to link the past with the modern world through this historically important and inspiring building, offering new ways to learn about Canterbury and its rich literary heritage. As well as the exhibition, this programme includes Marlowe's Ghost, an escape room experience themed around the life and death of Christopher Marlowe that has attracted over 1,200 visits by gamers, tourists and families.
The Marlowe Kit is also the home of The Marlowe's creative classes, attended by over 200 participants every week and houses regular performances in the building's Great Hall, including theatre, music, performance poetry and family shows. There have also been workshops and symposia for Canterbury's emerging writers, inspired by the city's literary heritage.
Deborah Shaw, Chief Executive of The Marlowe, said:
"The Marlowe Kit shows what can happen when contemporary theatre-making and heritage practice come together to breathe new life into a beautiful historic building. It has been very moving to witness young poets performing under the magnificent oak ceiling of the Great Hall, families hunting for clues together to uncover the mystery of Christopher Marlowe's death in the Jacobean world of the Escape Room and community groups and school children enjoying a host of drama-based workshops. Now the public will be able to enjoy a free exhibition which celebrates Canterbury's rich literary heritage in accessible and interactive ways.
I want to thank the brilliant Marlowe team and the local artists and craftspeople who have worked tirelessly to bring about this amazing transformation and our colleagues in the Museums and Galleries team from Canterbury City Council for contributing their expertise and support in Collections Care".
The Marlowe's work in The Kit is part of Pioneering Places, an ambitious project that will make East Kent an even better place to live, work and visit by exploring heritage, developing civic pride and connecting artists and communities. Pioneering Places is supported through Arts Council England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund, with Historic England and Artswork, the South East Bridge.
Fiona Kingsman, Project Director of Pioneering Places said:
"The success of The Marlowe Kit shows how historic buildings that have lost their original purpose, can be reimagined by cultural organisations, to encourage local people to get involved in new ways and shape the place where they live."