The Marlowe Papers

Christopher Marlowe’s alleged blasphemy makes it necessary for him to make a hasty retreat in the form of a fake death. Doomed to exile he takes on a new life as a secret agent, a James Bond of the 16th Century, and his adventures enthrall us from beginning to end.

The sheer energy of the performance was exhausting to watch, and the wonderfully choreographed movement around the stage faultless

As the audience enters the auditorium, we’re lured into a false sense of calm by the beautiful mandolin playing of James Fiddes Smith, an atmosphere which soon turns into super-charged energy when Kit Marlow (Jamie Martin) takes to the stage. Written by Brighton resident, Ros Barber, this is an enchanting script brought to life by this multi-faceted actor. His numerous transformations from Marlowe into Ned Alleyn, Tom Walsingham and his hated plagiarist William Shakespeare, amongst many others, are performed seamlessly. His transformation into Ide du Vault, ex nun, fellow tutor and soon to be lover, offered up many comic moments. The physical and vocal transformations alongside Martin’s facial dexterity have to be seen to be believed.

The sheer energy of the performance was exhausting to watch, and the wonderfully choreographed movement around the stage faultless. The timing of the movement and the musical accompaniment worked so perfectly that it felt as if Smith and Martin had been doing this all their lives. A technical problem, when the audience was plunged into darkness, was dealt with calmly and the play continued without missing a beat; only further emphasizing Martin’s skill.

Fifteen characters all played by the same actor is not often attempted and the feat should be applauded. I could watch this masterclass in acting over and over again as it surpassed all my expectations and kept the audience captivated from beginning to end.

Reviews by Gill Balfour

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Performances

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The Blurb

1593. Christopher Marlowe is stabbed through the eye aged 29. Except he isn’t. Because Marlowe is also a secret agent. Join him on his journey into exile as he recounts tales of beer-drinking, duels and spying that led to his losing lovers, friends and his very identity. ***** (The Argus)

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