An engraving of a scene from The Taming of the Shrew by Georg Goldberg

Did Kit co-author Shakespeare’s Shrew?

Christopher Marlowe may have had a hand in writing “The Taming of the Shrew”. Dr John V Nance, associate editor for The New Oxford Shakespeare: Complete Alternative Versions suggests Act 1 Scene 1 was by Marlowe. (The Guardian April 14th 2020)

Read the article here


2020 Hoffman Prize

2020 Hoffman Prize Entries Now Accepted

The Calvin & Rose G Hoffman Prize for a distinguished scholarly essay on Christopher Marlowe

Entries are now invited for the 31st Calvin & Rose G Hoffman Prize to be awarded in December 2020. The closing date for entries to be received is 1st September 2020.  If you wish to enter the competition, an application form and further details must first be obtained from:

The Hoffman Administrator
The King’s School
25 The Precincts
Canterbury
Kent CT1 2ES
Email: bursar@kings-bursary.co.uk
 
The Hoffman Prize Past Winners

Plays About Marlowe

The plays and links on this page are about or reference Christopher Marlowe and/or his works. It is remarkable just how many new plays have been inspired by the events in and surrounding the life of Marlowe and we are delighted to bring some of the best of them to a wider audience by publishing them on this website. These are all original works and we have been given permission by their authors to be placed on here.

Please contact us if you require more information or if you wish to use one of these plays for performance or group reading: they are an excellent way to encourage discussion and participation


One-Act Play
FOLIO
by Malcolm Elliott 

Introduction
Watching a play like Folio is bound to make one question the evidence on which it is based. The story of Orsino’s visit to Elizabeth is told in great detail by Leslie Hotson in his book The First Night of ‘Twelfth Night’, published in 1954. What happened to Marlowe at Deptford is disputed, but doubt about the official account of his death, as well as much detail about his life, can be found on the Marlowe website of Peter Farey: http://www.rey.prestel.co.uk

Please click on the pdf link below:

One-Act Play.pdf


Tom Hughes will play Christopher Marlowe in A Discovery of Witches

Marlowe in A Discovery of Witches

Tom Hughes will play Christopher ‘Kit’ Marlowe in the second season of A Discovery of Witches. The Sky Original fantasy drama is based on the All Souls novels by Deborah Harkness, which sees a young academic who reconnects with her witch heritage after meeting a debonair vampire. They become embroiled in a supernatural war over time. The second season takes place in Elizabethan London, where they will meet the mercurial and dark Kit Marlowe.

Read more on Radio Times


The former Poor Priests' Hospital

The Marlowe Kit in Canterbury

The Marlowe Kit opened in April 2019 with a free exhibition, Kent’s Remarkable Writers. It focuses on Christopher Marlowe, Aphra Behn and Joseph Conrad. Contact The Marlowe Theatre, The Friars, Canterbury CT1 2AS, tel 01227 787787

Part of the Marlowe exhibition
Part of the Marlowe exhibition

The Kit is housed in the 12th century former Poor Priests Hospital, and is both child- and adult-friendly. There are opportunities to interact with some of the exhibits through immersive activities such as trying on Elizabethan-style clothing, and watching presentations.

Marlowe's Ghost Escape Room
Marlowe’s Ghost Escape Room

The Kit houses an escape room called Marlowe’s Ghost. This is a race against time to escape from a locked room by deciphering clues.

The former Poor Priests' Hospital
The former Poor Priests’ Hospital


The Marlowe Kit

The Marlowe Kit Opens

The Marlowe Kit has finally opened. On April 6th, it opened to the public with a free exhibition entitled “Kent’s Remarkable Writers” which focuses on three of Kent’s most distinguished writers: Christopher Marlowe, Aphra Behn and Joseph Conrad.

Read More


Professor Vicki Ann Cremona and Dr Julian Ng

Interview with Dr Vicki Ann Cremona

Marlowe Society membership officer, Dr Julian Ng, was recently in Malta and met up with Dr Vicki Ann Cremona, the Chair of the School of Performing Arts at the University of Malta.

Dr Cremona had delivered a talk about on Christopher Marlowe and works, particularly his seminal play “The Jew of Malta“, which was performed for the first time ever in Malta. The production was performed from 5-10 October 2018 and produced by Malta’s esteemed Manoel Theatre. (We included this information in our Events Calendar).

The Jew of Malta is one of the few classical plays set entirely on the Maltese islands, and as testament to Marlowe’s great imagination, takes place in an alternate reality where the Great Siege never happened – and the fabled Knights of Malta had to pay tributes to Turkish Sultan in order to avoid a war.

Dr Cremona talks about how Marlowe’s dexterity and prowess in writing about anti-heroes lead to masterpieces on characters who fight over power, religion, politics and greed – themes which are still frighteningly relevant to today’s society.

Listen to the audio interview below:


London Marlowe Day 2019

London Marlowe Day 2019

As usual, our London Marlowe Day was held on the 23rd February 2019 at the King and Queen Pub in London.

With a lecture by Professor Chris Carr and a sneak preview of the one-woman show “Marlowe’s Women” by Lizzie Willis, read more about the event here.


RSC Tamburlaine Review II

Photo by Ellie Kurttz. Copyright RSC
Photo by Ellie Kurttz. Copyright RSC

The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC)’s production of Christopher Marlowe’s Tamburlaine was exciting, dramatic, and emotional.  The show combined both parts of Marlowe’s seminal play into 200 action-packed minutes.

The staging of the play was minimal but effective. Michael Boyd’s direction used the entire theatre, with supporting players declaiming their lines from the audience. Characters were introduced and their changes in fortune viscerally illustrated with simple costume changes or splashes of blood. We see Tamburlaine decimating king after king, and when Bajazeth (Sagar I M Arya) is wheeled out in an iron cage, you feel the hairs stand on the back of your neck at what could possibly happen next.

Photo by Ellie Kurttz. Copyright RSC
Photo by Ellie Kurttz. Copyright RSC

The violent deaths were stylishly graphic, and, combined with the throbbing bass of timpani and orchestral undercurrents, lent to a heightened sense of the macabre.

The eponymous Scythian shepherd played as arrogance personified by Jude Owusu, delivered Marlowe’s beautiful lines with both pomp as well as pain. You fear for Zenocrate (Rosy McEwen) when she pleads for her father’s life, and even hope against hope when, as Callapine, she spurs other kings to rise up against the tyrannical Tamburlaine.

A great supporting cast worked to show how unbridled ambition for power unravels with chilling consequences. Some parts were a little over-acted, but, given the scale of the drama, can be excused since the languid but emotion-logged language towers above everything else – little nuances in quieter scenes and smacking theatregoers in the face during vicissitudinal melodrama.

Review by Julian Ng.