Saturday, 9 June 2012

Welcome to the fun house :-)

I've decided, after much thought that i should probably write about the wonderful new theatre I work at..... Ok, well not that much was quite an easy desicion actually as why would i talk about a far off place when i can talk about the place in my own back yard.

For those of you who don't know canterbury well, this is the old Marlowe.

Built origianlly as a cinema in the 1930's it was converted into a theatre in the mid 1980's. It served the city well as a approx. 1000 seat venue, but did not utilise the space that it sat on. In 2008 the theatre closed to be replaced by the new new marlowe.

During the wait for the new home to be built, the theatre continued its panto tradition and moved into this... wonderful tent. Many happy memorys were spent in portercabins set up as a box office, but a few years have passed and now.......

The New Marlowe Theatre.

As a boxoffice bod it has been an amazing experience moving into a new purpose built 1200 seater venue. Opinions of the exterior design have been mixed which was to be expected when you consider Canterbury is a heritage city and this has been built right in the center of the town. Despite these instant opinions about the outside, the vast majority of those who have been to see shows on the inside have found the place to have incredible acoustics and a wonderful feeling. The shape of the main auditorium design is based on old horse style theatres, a style of theatre that helps to amplify sound to even the highest corner and aims to make sure no one is too far away from the action (max distance to stage is 25mtrs). Add this old style design with the unique sound reflecting roof, and the specially designed sound reflecting seats and you have a venue with all the feeling of a old theatre but with the style and up to date technology of a new.

The theatre also boasts a smaller 'black box theatre'  (The Marlowe Studio). Home to the Youth Theatre and home to some new and exciting smaller works. Canterbury has been calling out for a multipurpose venue and this 150 seat venue offers a wonderful place for smaller production companies to show off there skills. It has also been used as a comedy cabaret venue (the seating is retractable leaving a nice sized floor space) and as a gig venue for local groups. 

Since opening, the theatre has experienced great growth and solid attendance figures, something which is leading to new west end tours choosing the venue in future years. So the future is bright and here's hoping that the theatre goes from strength to strength.

For more info on the Marlowe, visit   

I'll be back soon with some reviews of shows we have seen over recent months.

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