OCTOBER is set to be a dramatic month at The Marlowe Studio, Canterbury
First up is Hannah & Hanna In Dreamland (Thursday 4 to Saturday 6 October), a Marlowe co-production which was developed through our Roar programme for new writing. Written by John Retallack, Hannah & Hanna In Dreamland builds on his award-winning earlier play, Hannah And Hanna, which has been performed extensively both nationally and internationally.
The play begins in the summer of 1999, when Margate’s beaches are packed with day-trippers – and its hotels filled with Kosovan asylum seekers. One of these is Hanna, a survivor of Europe’s most recent genocide. Hannah is from Margate and bored with life in the rundown seaside town. The only things the two 16 year olds have in common are their names and their love of singing along to their favourite pop songs.
Sixteen years later, Hanna returns to Margate – this time in search of a Syrian girl she befriended in Kosovo and who may have succeeded in getting across the Channel. Hanna hopes her young friend will be welcome in Margate, but although the town has changed, there is still an undercurrent of hostility towards the migrants and refugees who are so desperate to enter the UK.
Re:Production (Wednesday 17 October), by White Slate Theatre, is a new play about reproductive choices, prompted by the 40th anniversary of the first successful IVF treatment earlier this year. White Slate are a female-led company based in Canterbury. Formerly an Associate Company of the University of Kent, they’re now Marlowe Supported Company.
One of the two performances of Re:Production will involve a new innovation for The Marlowe: a parent-and baby- friendly performance.
Other plays at The Marlowe Studio next month are Perfectly Imperfect Women (Tuesday 9 October), a universal story about women’s search for perfection, and To Have To Shoot Irishmen (Tuesday 30 October). This play with songs is about the 1916 Easter Rising and is written by Lizzie Nunnery (who also wrote the award-winning Narvik, performed at The Studio last year).
But The Studio isn’t just about drama. October also sees the return of the ever-popular Laid Bare Cabaret (Saturday 27 October), as well as Skin, the story of a gender transition told through dance. There’ll also be musical performances from singer-songwriter Scott Matthews (Friday 19 October), and Grace Petrie (Tuesday 16 October) with her unique musical takes on life and politics.
In comedy, there’s the return of Irish hip-hop musical comedian Abandoman (AKA Rob Broderick) with Pirate Radio (Wednesday 10 October); Phil Nichol’s new show Your Wrong (Saturday 13 October), which looks at the modern need to be right about everything; and Felicity Ward’s Busting A Nut (Thursday 25 October). Felicity was recently a hit at The Marlowe supporting Katherine Ryan. There’ll also be fast-paced physical comedy with Sleeping Trees: World Tour (Thursday 11 October).
There are several shows to keep youngsters entertained in the half-term break: Princess Charming (Saturday 20 October) starts from the premise that while some girls like football and some boys like pink, everybody likes a good story. The Magic Word (Tuesday 23 October) is a new ballet especially for children aged two to nine, and The Tale Of The Cockatrice (Thursday 25 October) is a spine-tingling fable for monster-lovers aged seven to 12.
For performance times, ticket prices, and to book, call the Box Office on 01227 787787, or go to marlowetheatre.com. Please note, age recommendations are in place for some shows.