In February 2016, Joanna Labon and Sally Elkerton launched the Canterbury Christopher Marlowe Museum Project at the Beaney House of Art and Knowledge, Canterbury. Our aim was to work towards a permanent heritage space in Canterbury where Christopher Marlowe could be celebrated in the city of his birth. We established an active committee with interests in drama, sculpture, heritage renovation, art, education, architecture, writing and research.
Eastbridge Hospital kindly offered us space for an exhibition, “Canterbury’s Rash Boy: Christopher Marlowe” (Summer 2016). Many friends and volunteers helped to welcome visitors to this chilly undercroft, and our printing for the exhibition was generously supported by a local department store. Some of our visitors became friends of the project and interest grew. The exhibition transferred to the foyer of The Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury.
Next, we worked closely with The Marlowe Theatre on “Creed of Spies” (Summer 2017) and in establishing The Kit, a live museum and playhouse in a twelfth century building in central Canterbury (formerly the Canterbury Heritage Museum), which opened in 2019. Joanna joined the team for two years as Exhibitions and Heritage Producer.
Our project patron was Rowan Williams, Master of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge and former Archbishop of Canterbury.
We always worked closely with the Marlowe Society and our membership overlapped. In 2018 we rolled our activities in with the Society and Joanna became Vice-Chair of the Society. In 2020 she became Chair.
The Marlowe Society has a national and international role to play, but we continue to develop projects and events for the people of Canterbury and her visitors.