The Marlowe Theatre has a new chief executive

Celebrate World Theatre Day in Canterbury

Lovers of the arts and culture can celebrate World Theatre Day in Canterbury.

Cllr Neil Baker, who chairs Canterbury City Council’s community committee, says this is an opportunity to highlight the work of local theatres such as the Marlowe and the Gulbenkian.

Since the £25.6million renovation of the Marlowe, it has hosted a series of West End shows including Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, which plays next week.

The Gulbenkian at the University of Kent campus is hosting comedian Richard Herring’s Oh Frig! I’m 50 show on Tuesday.

And members of the Marlowe Youth Theatre are staging an amateur production of Emperor Of The Moon.

Playwright, poet and spy Christopher Marlowe

Cllr Baker said: “In many ways Canterbury’s own Christopher Marlowe was one of the fathers of English drama.

“We are rightly proud of our local theatres and theatre groups and it is clear there is a wealth of talent within the district, from performers in village halls and community theatres to alumni of our schools and universities including Hollywood actor Orlando Bloom.

“As a council we are keen to do all we can to support the arts while providing best value for money for our residents, and we are in the process of transferring the Marlowe to an independent charitable trust.

“This will allow it to receive new funding from a wider range of sources while also saving local taxpayers more then £100,000 each year.”

Events and performances are planned for across the globe for World Theatre Day, and special messages from leading figures in the industry have been prepared.

Cllr Baker said the city council would explore holding specific world theatre days in the future.

“Our universities provide outstanding education in drama, music and performing arts to produce stars of the future,” he said.

“But there are also many local people who give up their time to nurture young talent, whether that’s in our thriving amateur dramatics scene or in classrooms and school halls.

“All these people deserve to be celebrated, together with our rich cultural heritage.”

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