The Marlowe Flatmates

  • Opens: 18 August 2021
  • Closes: 23 August 2021
  • Where: Gallery 1

Following the government’s announcement of the roadmap out of lockdown earlier this year, the team at the Marlowe Theatre Canterbury made an inventive plan to enable them to reopen their main auditorium, in order to present socially-distanced shows at the earliest opportunity, from June.

They commissioned artist Ben Dickson to help prepare for their socially-distanced re-opening, by creating a unique audience of Kent characters in their auditorium.

Whitstable-based portrait artist Ben was challenged to create 50 portraits in under a month, to fill the unusable seats around the auditorium. Together they did away with the need for intrusive signage and created an amusing and surprisingly animated life-sized audience.
Showcasing the richness and variety of Kent’s cultural life and history, the cut-outs feature an eclectic mix of artists, actors, musicians, dancers, directors, writers, comedians, politicians and historical characters.
The original line up included Jane Austen, Shane McGowan, Tracey Emin, Mick Jagger and Christopher Marlowe. The Clangers, poet Lemn Sissay (Canterbury’s former Poet Laureate) and even the Rt Honourable Jacob Rees-Mogg MP in a recreation of his infamous lounging position, last seen during the parliamentary debates on exiting the European Union.

Once the period of socially distanced performances came to an end, the cut-out portraits were made available for sale.
Here at the Horsebridge, we are lucky to be able to exhibit the remaining Flatmates; have a look around and see who you can find!

Would you like to have one of these famous faces living with you?
You can purchase a flatmate for £25 directly from the The Marlowe theatre. Please let staff on reception know who you would like to buy and then contact The Marlowe Theatre on 01227 787787 or via their website.

Fancy a selfie?
Please feel free to take pictures whilst you are here, if you share online make sure to tag in #MarloweFlatMates @thehorsebridge

*The cut-outs were made by Walker Construction, who are also based in Kent.

Photographs by Richard Lea-Hair / Leahairphotography