Page last updated at 13:03 GMT, Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Canterbury's new 25m Marlowe Theatre taking shape

New Marlowe Theatre
The theatre promises to be a major arts venue for the South East

A Kent theatre currently undergoing a £25.6m redevelopment is on schedule to be completed by autumn next year.

Work first started on Canterbury's Marlowe Theatre a year ago, with the city council promising it will bring significant rewards for the area.

It will have a 1,200-seat auditorium and a second 150-seat performance area.

Janice McGuinness, head of culture at the council, said the new theatre had already taken shape and the roof would be going on in about a month's time.

"You can see the shape of the balconies and the auditoria and now the polished colonnades which will wrap around the side and front of the theatre are going on," she said.

We will also be a major venue for the tours that go round the country at the highest levels
Mark Everett, theatre director

She recalled how the closure of the old Marlowe Theatre had been "a very dark day".

"We had the gala night the previous night and today a year ago we were stripping out the old theatre and it was a really sad day."

Mark Everett, theatre director, said it had been "rather strange to be a director without a theatre", but a huge amount of advance planning for the new theatre was already under way.

He promised that the new Marlowe Theatre would be "one of the best theatres in the country".

"We will also be a major venue for the tours that go round the country at the highest levels.

"The major musicals, the best opera and largest ballet and dance companies, plays from the national companies and major individual performing artists.

"We have missed out on that in the past - we are going to have those in the future," Mr Everett said.

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Theatre director Mark Everett has described the new building



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