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Canterbury's Marlowe Theatre announces June reopening with launch of musical Six's new UK tour


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Kent's biggest theatre has announced it will reopen in June with a smash hit musical.

The Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury will welcome audiences back, as it launches the new national tour of multi award-winning musical Six.

The Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury is set to reopen in June
The Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury is set to reopen in June

It will be the first show performed at The Marlowe since it closed its doors on March 16 last year, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Under the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown, theatres can reopen with reduced capacity from May 17.

But The Marlowe has today announced it will instead reopen on June 8, with reduced-sized audiences.

The musical sees the six wives of Henry VIII take to the mic to tell their own personal tales, "remixing 500 years of historical heartbreak into an 80-minute celebration of 21st century girl power".

The show began as a student production during the 2017 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and has since become a global musical phenomenon.

Hit musical Six will be the first show to be performed at The Marlowe in more than a year when the theatre reopens in June. Picture: Johan Persson
Hit musical Six will be the first show to be performed at The Marlowe in more than a year when the theatre reopens in June. Picture: Johan Persson

As the pandemic struck, Six was playing to sold-out houses in London’s West End, was on tour across the UK and Australia, and had its opening night in New York cancelled when Broadway was shut down before the show was due to open.

It was nominated for five Olivier Awards including Best New Musical, and has been performed annually in front of thousands at West End Live in Trafalgar Square.

The show's new tour will be rehearsed and premiered at The Marlowe before then touring to theatres across the country.

Casting is yet to be announced.

The Marlowe says it will be complying with all of the latest government guidance and the highest industry standards to make the theatre Covid secure for audiences when it reopens.

Portrait cut-outs by Ben Dickson in the Marlowe's auditorium. Picture: Richard Lea-Hair/The Marlowe
Portrait cut-outs by Ben Dickson in the Marlowe's auditorium. Picture: Richard Lea-Hair/The Marlowe

Six will be performed to a socially-distanced audience, meaning there will be fewer people in the auditorium than normal.

The Marlowe has commissioned portrait artist Ben Dickson, to create a host of illustrated cut-outs to populate seats that will be left vacant due to social distancing rules.

The theatre's chief executive, Deborah Shaw said: “We are delighted to be able to announce our opening date.

"Six is the perfect show to celebrate our reopening and we are all looking forward to welcoming audiences - especially those who have stuck with us and waited so patiently for rescheduled dates.

"It’s going to be a special moment in The Marlowe’s history. I’m thrilled that the company will be rehearsing with us for the launch of the national tour. It’s great to be back.”

Producer Kenny Wax added: "We are delighted to be reopening Six at The Marlowe Theatre with which we have a very close affinity.

"Great venue, fab staff and appreciative audiences. What more could we want for an opening venue as we attempt to kickstart the industry back into life and to bring the joy of Six back to the regions."

Tickets for Six are on sale now and can be booked via The Marlowe's website, or by calling the theatre's box office on 01227 787787.

Read more: All the latest news from Canterbury

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