Canterbury Marlowe Day

A virtual afternoon gathering (via Zoom)

Join us for an early summer wander through Marlowe’s world – including the following three sessions:

  • Scadbury Manor, Chislehurst – The Home of Thomas Walsingham
  • Gorboduc: A Performance by ReShake Theatre Company
  • Kit’s Canterbury: A Guided Walk

Tea: bring your own please!

Tickets: £15 / £10 for students & concessions

More info and bookings via Eventbrite: please follow the link here

Alternatively, you may send a cheque payable to the Marlowe Society to our office:
51a Carlton Avenue
Kent. CT10 1AQ.

Or email our secretary requesting to pay by BACS and you will receive a link to the event.

In either case you must send your email address so we can send you a link to the event. Thank you.

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
Kent CT1 2ES
The Hoffman Prize Past Winners

Prof Bob Ayres

The Annual Marlowe Lecture 2019

Our Annual Marlowe Lecture is back for 2019.

Professor Bob Ayres will be drawing on his research into Marlowe in Venice.

It should make for a fascinating day. Join us for an adventure into history with Professor Ayres, and for a fish+chip lunch.

Address: King and Queen Pub, 1 Foley Street, Fitzrovia, London W1W 6DL

Date: 16 November 2019 (from 11am)

Book Your Tickets

Select Ticket Type:

Marlowe’s Women

A one-woman show performed by Lizzie Willis under the direction of Ken Pickering and Sally Elkerton.

Introduced by Ken Pickering, Hon. Prof of Drama at the University of Kent and the Chair of the Marlowe Society, the international organisation for the promotion of interest in Christopher Marlowe and his works.

£8 per ticket

£5 for under 18s.


Alleyn Walk – 12th April


Come on a gentle, 2-hour walk through the Barbican and Clerkenwell and on the way hear about Alleyn’s life, his theatres, Shakespeare, Elizabethan theatre practice and various other interesting facts with a knowledgeable guide from the Rose Playhouse.

The walk starts at 2.30 pm from Moorgate Underground [exit 1/2 on the West Side, outside Caffe Nero] and ends at Farringdon. Please arrive in good time so that the walk can start promptly.
Cost £5. Tickets can be booked here [15p booking charge].

Walks will not go ahead if the weather is really bad. In that event, the booking can be transferred to another date or a refund given.

London Marlowe Day 2019

Chairman Prof Kenneth Pickering and Secretary Peter Cherry open the AGM.

A vote was held for committee members, with George Metcalfe stepping down and being replaced as Executive Vice President by Dr Joanna Labon. Tom Slator was welcomed as the new Treasurer with grateful thanks to Charles Cox for his wonderful tenure. Professor Richard Wilson spoke about the Shakespeare North theatre in Liverpool and the ARTS (Association of Replica Theatres) project, which both bode well for promotion of Elizabethan drama.

Dr Joanna Labon gives her report as Heritage Officer for the Society.

Various matters were discussed, including the statue effort for Canterbury by an independent group, a garden party hosted by former Archbishop of Canterbury at his college in Cambridge to raise funds, and a plea for more contributors for the newsletter.  George Metcalfe volunteered to organise the Christopher marlowe memorial service at Poet’sCorner in Westminster abbey this year.

Members had also ordered a fish and chips lunch, which was duly delivered and enjoyed.

Professor Chris Carr talks provenance-based analysis

In the afternoon, Professor Chris Carr from the Edinburgh Business School delivered a powerful lecture analysing Ovid’s influence on Marlowe and later writers including Shakespeare by reviewing the latter’s Venus and Adonis. He raised many interesting issues on the basis of creative provenance and demonstrated how Ovid’s body of work was instrumental to the creation of so many literary and dramatic works especially during the Elizabethan era.

Lizzie Willis introduces her one-woman show “Marlowe’s Women”.

After this, the audience were treated to a wonderful one-woman performance by Lizzie Willis, simply entitled “Marlowe’s Women”. The play was devised together with Prof Ken Pickering and director Sally Elkerton. Willis gave a delightful performance, showcasing some of Marlowe’s best known female characters and protagonists through that immeasurably beautiful prose with the appropriate timbre and poise. Bravo, Lizzie.

Lizzie reenacts a scene where a sacrificial virgin begs Tamburlaine for mercy.

A wonderful time was had by all, as longtime members got together for a catch-up, and newer members strengthened their bond with the Society.

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.

London Marlowe Day, 24th February 2018

London Marlowe Day took place on the 24th February, 2018 at the King & Queen Pub in London. After the AGM of the Marlowe Society, there were several interesting talks, sharing of information and news items, and a delicious fish and chips lunch.


We commenced with reports from members of the committee and then moved on to the election of officers. The details of the elections can be found in the Chairman’s Spring Letter. Ken Pickering filled us in on exciting plans to move our library at Faversham to the new Marlowe Kit in Canterbury. We also heard from Julian Ng about his ideas for the future of the website, including how he will be using his marketing expertise to help promote and raise funds for the Society.

Malcolm Elliott’s Christopher Shakespeare: the man behind the plays

Following the AGM, Malcolm Elliott, historian, lecturer, Quaker and Marlowe Society member gave a talk about his book Christopher Shakespeare: the man behind the plays. Elliott explained that Marlowe did not die in Deptford in 1593, but lived the rest of his life undercover, and wrote the sonnets and plays normally attributed to Shakespeare when he was in exile abroad. Some sonnets appear to describe Marlowe’s feelings on his travels across Europe, as he laments the loss of his friends and Walsingham in particular. Elliott also asserts in the book that only someone with intimate knowledge of the French court of Navarre and cities in northern Italy could have written Love’s Labour’s Lost, Romeo and Juliet, The Taming of the Shrew, The Two Gentlemen of Verona and The Merchant of Venice. One particularly intriguing claim is that no one in England knew of Don Virginio Orsino, Duke of Bracciano’s presence in England until two weeks before Twelfth Night was performed for him and the Queen on 6 January 1601, so it is inconceivable that Shakespeare could have written it at such short notice. It seems more likely that Marlowe, who was probably in the service of Bracciano and knew of the visit in advance, wrote the play. If Marlowe accompanied the trip to England, he would have been in disguise for his own safety, and disguise is a familiar theme in plays thought to be written by Shakespeare.

After the talk, there was a question and answer session. However, the end of the talk felt like a beginning for me, as I’m sure the book could stimulate more research, particularly on who was working at the famous French and Italian courts when these plays were written.

Fish and Chip lunch

The lunch was enjoyed by all and was a great opportunity to discuss ideas about the forward-thinking plans for the Society outlined in the AGM and also the implications of Malcolm’s book.

Dr Ildiko Solti’s talk: ‘The Politics of the Bear-Pit: Marlowe and Shakespeare in shared light’

Dr Solti, a long-standing member of the Marlowe Society and Fellow of Kingston University, explored how Marlowe and Shakespeare used theatrical space and how they worked the audience.

Ildiko started her talk by explaining how animal baiting pits full of blood and adrenaline in the morning were transformed into theatres in the afternoon. The level of excitement remained in the theatre because it was (and still is) a marked space with daily life outside and different rules inside. During the talk we were encouraged to really think about how we might explore a space when we enter into it, like a curious but apprehensive animal would when it comes out of its hole and looks around a new area. In a theatre we can experience that primitive ‘fight or flight’ instinct because as an audience member you could feel uncomfortable – perhaps as a confidante, implicated in the action, or you may feel provoked by the action. Marlowe seems to enjoy stretching and challenging his audience by a preference for the outrageous, and involving them in impossible-to-solve moral dilemmas.

Dr Solti suggested that a great way of fully understanding what it was like to walk into an Elizabethan theatre and enjoy the feeling of being immersed it, is to watch the film Shakespeare in Love. The theatrical space is so important because it shapes the meaning of the play and, of course, the most important moment can be inarticulate. Similarly, movement can construct meaning, rather than just be illustrative of it. The talk was a real eye-opener and it helped us to understand that Marlowe was a true master of space, not just the mighty line.

International developments

During the day we heard about performances of Doctor Faustus at the University of Malta and in Brazil. Marlowe’s fame is clearly growing around the world! It was also interesting to hear about the new Shakespeare Theatre in Gdańsk, Poland, which is built on the site of a 17th century theatre, known as the Fencing School, where English travelling players performed.

Event Photos

Professor Ken Pickering (centre) with Malcolm Elliot (holding his book ‘Christopher Shakespeare’) and Dr Ildiko Solti.

Dr Ildiko Solti presenting an interesting insight into how theatres worked in Elizabethan times.

A representative sharing all the exciting changes for The Rose Theatre Bankside.