Skip to content

Kent's major theatre and East Kent Colleges Group announce ground-breaking new partnership

29 October 2023
The award-winning Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury and Ofsted-Outstanding East Kent Colleges (EKC) Group have announced a new formal partnership.

The award-winning Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury and Ofsted-Outstanding East Kent Colleges (EKC) Group have announced a new formal partnership to make Kent a national leader in vocational training in the performing arts for FE students.

Over the next few years, a growing number of students attending East Kent Colleges Group’s colleges will be able to get real industry experience, learning from the artists, performers, technicians, producers, marketeers and all the other professional disciplines that go into creating a thriving large-scale theatre.

The Marlowe will provide work placements, apprenticeships and performance-related master classes and projects, alongside the top-quality teaching and pastoral care provided by the East Kent Colleges Group.

At the centre of the partnership is the flagship Marlowe Academy of the Performing Arts, which has just taken on its first cohort of students aged 16 to 19. Learners will follow a curriculum co-created by The Marlowe and East Kent Colleges Group which will lead to a UAL Level 3 Diploma in Acting.

This innovative collaboration builds on a long-standing relationship between the two organisations, that has seen The Marlowe Theatre offer a range of experiences for students from East Kent Colleges Group. Within the last year, The Marlowe has facilitated 42 work experience placements in collaboration with East Kent Colleges Group across a wide range of departments.

Deborah Shaw, Chief Executive of The Marlowe, said: “We are delighted to be working with the outstanding team at East Kent Colleges Group in a partnership built on a shared ambition to build bridges between education and industry, and shared values around inclusion, diversity, quality and collaboration.

“Together we will be supporting young people in our region to develop their creative lives and the skills they need for a career in the performing arts. The ultimate aim is to have a sustainable, highly-skilled theatre workforce in Kent. I think this collaboration will be transformative for The Marlowe and ultimately the performing arts industry.”

Graham Razey, Chief Executive Officer at East Kent Colleges Group, said: “As an organisation which is absolutely passionate about inclusivity, this partnership is fantastic news for young people across East Kent. We’ll be opening up access to the performing arts for students who may not have had the opportunity to experience it in the past, giving them a backstage pass to dig deep into the industry and experience all it has to offer.”“The new co-delivered provision is really exciting news, not only for students, but also for industry, as it will ultimately help build a talent pipeline that will ensure The Marlowe has the skills it needs to continue to flourish in the years to come. It’s a very exciting time for the thousands of young people who learn with us every year, and I will look forward to seeing this partnership continue to grow.”