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Marlowe's Fate

From 48 member  reviews
Members say: Clever, Great acting, Disappointing, Entertaining, Thought-provoking

About the show

'Marlowe's Fate' is a comedy that begins with Christopher Marlowe’s last terrible night in London and ends a lifetime later with Will Shaxper’s last explosive night on Earth. More…

Christopher Marlowe, the most talented and accomplished playwright and poet of his generation, meets his terrible fate in a shocking and surprising confrontation in a riverside tavern in Deptford. One week later, Will Shaxper is recruited to act as stand-in for the disgraced Marlowe. These two innocent men struggle to survive while trapped in the Elizabethan Age of Machiavellian spies, slapstick puppets, and an outrageous avalanche of unintended consequences.

Part of the Fledgling Theatre Company and the Caravan Theatre Company's first annual 'Battle of the Bards' festival, honoring the work of Christopher Marlowe.

Member Reviews (48)


Clever, Great acting, Disappointing, Entertaining, Thought-provoking
Avg Score

Earnest, Pedestrian, Arch, Preposterous, Ponderous

See it if you are a Shakespeare or Marlowe completist.

Don't see it if you are expecting a cogent argument that Marlowe authored Shakespeare’s work, or an entertaining play that proposes as much.

Also Tonight in the Studio at Theatre Row, I had a feeling of not quite déj... Read more Read less

Clever, Great acting, Great writing, Thought-provoking, Ambitious

See it if if you like a very unusual theory about Shakespeare and Marlowe. Very witty story and wonderful acting. Don't miss the 1st scene of Act 2!

Don't see it if if you are a purist about Shakespeare and don't like any controversy about him. You won't like this play if you have no humor.

Also The seats in this studio theater have no cushions so bring your own if... Read more Read less

Clever, Great acting, Great writing, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if You are interested in the Marlowe/Shakespeare controversy, and are open to "what if"; a clever presentation, fun and well researched

Don't see it if you do not like historically oriented plays which poke fun at Shakespeare, and challenge your beliefs, even with puppets to add humor.

Also I totally enjoyed this play, even though I'm no Shakespeare or Marlowe... Read more Read less

Disappointing, 2 wonderful actors/2 horrid/1 both, Slow

See it if You are interested in "who wrote Shakespeare" riffs. Its a very small room and requires proportional energy.

Don't see it if You dont like broad acting. You have little interest in conjecture that can be neither proved nor disproved.

Interesting, Funny

See it if If are a Shakespeare fan and are interested in the history or legend of how he did not write his plays.

Don't see it if if you do not like cozy settings for a play, you do not like period pieces or you are not particularity interested in Shakespearean history.

What can be wrought on a tiny stage!, Clever, Entertaining, Great acting, Thought-provoking

See it if every once in a while your brain needs a shake up and you've already seen Stoppard. This was great fun, everyone giving it their all--Bravo!

Don't see it if You don't want to consider that perhaps Shakespeare didn't write those plays: this makes a case in Marlowe's favor, presented effectively.

Great acting, Great writing, Clever, Intelligent, Disappointing

See it if you are intrigued by the “Shakespeare stand-in for Marlowe” theory and enjoy talented acting/writing albeit no climax or arc after Act I.

Don't see it if you reject that Shakespeare didn’t author works attributed to him, dislike silly pointless puppetry, want resolution/climax or shorter show

Intelligent (even w/the puppets), Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Clever, Very good acting

See it if you like Shakespeare &/or Marlowe. Gets to the premise much better than "The Shakespeare Conspiracy", although beats it like a dead horse.

Don't see it if you don't know (or care) about the never-ending Marlowe vs Shakespeare conspiracy theories, or any of their work. Very good acting by most.

Also To ponder: an always welcome exercise.... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Clever, Well researched and written script, Fine ensemble and voices, Entertaining

See it if A well-written script, capable actors, fine costumes and the barest but serviceable lights and set in another Marlowe/WS dust-up is enough.

Don't see it if You've no knowledge of nor interest in, Marlowe, Shakespeare or who might have written what.

Also A convincing and erudite script (without the weight that implies) by P... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Uneven, Wordy, Entertaining, Intelligent

See it if You're interested in a clever exposition of the Marlowe/Shakespeare theory, with an odd diversion into puppetry. Overall fun and interesting

Don't see it if You don't like talky, somewhat repetitive explanations of unproven theories, or small theatres with uncomfortable seats.

Clever, Funny, Intelligent, Entertaining

See it if If you are interested in Shakespeare and have some knowledge of those times. I think this show is underrated. start of 2nd act was awesome.

Don't see it if If you are not interested in shakespeare at all, you will be bored at this show

Ham acting sinks this as a play while too many unsupported "what ifs" sink it as a convincing case. less matter, more art badly needed here.

See it if You already believe the theory that Marlowe wrote the plays that were attributed to a not-too-bright Shakespeare.

Don't see it if You have a low tolerance level for bad acting and weak arguments.

Ambitious, Disappointing

See it if The show is a comedy but no one was laughing because two actors were playing for laughs while the rest of the cast wasn't that adventurous.

Don't see it if Overall the cast isn't bad in a rather simplistic setting but the director fails to guide the cast down the comedic road.

Clever, Disappointing, Indulgent

See it if Act I was a really well written, well acted mini playlet about "what if Marlowe lived and wrote Shakespeare's plays?"

Don't see it if Act 2 fell apart for me; there was a verbal sparring match with dolls and in order to lionize Marlowe, it demonized Shakespeare.

The most compelling evidence put forward yet

See it if You are genuinely curious about who Shakespeare really was. Its funny, there are puppets, and they play Jethro Tull in between acts.

Don't see it if If you want a big Broadway musical

Clever, Great acting, Refreshing, Intelligent, Humorous

See it if you love The Bard, are curious about the controversy surrounding his existence, or just like creative theater.

Don't see it if you're extremely parochial about your Shakespeare or don't enjoy a little mischief in a show. Not an LOL comedy, but witty and fun.

Also These five actors demonstrate great range as they take on multiple rol... Read more Read less

Dated, Disappointing, Indulgent, Slow, Quirky

See it if You are patient listening to a different take on the bard in Shakespearean prose. The woman and the man who played the printer+ were fabulou

Don't see it if You’re looking for a big book musical. The premise was interesting but very slow moving especially the smaller man who was awful.

Clever, Entertaining, Funny

See it if You enjoy conspiracy theories concerning the bard or just a fan of the era. The play is well acted and well written. Well worth a visit.

Don't see it if you hate Shakespeare or prefer contemporary plays.

Quirky, Confusing, Ambitious

See it if You like historical references and puns. The show is different in its writing and presentation, see it if you like non traditional plays.

Don't see it if You do not like old English speech, or are seeking a full on comedy.

Disappointing, Indulgent, Slow, Quirky, Excruciating

See it if You like reviewing theories about who actually wrote Shakespeare’s plays.

Don't see it if Like dynamic plays with a point. This had potential but . . .

Disappointing, Slow, Decent acting, Interesting concept, Poor writing

See it if have to. I wanted to like this! I really did! But the whole experiment was a miss for me... disjointed, confusing, slow and dull. Sorry

Don't see it if you're expecting any tension, pacing or 'witty repartee"

Clever, Entertaining, Funny, Great acting

See it if you are accepting of a Marlowe/Shakespeare connection. You enjoy a show despite one poor act. You can follow multiple rolls per actor

Don't see it if you need your shows to be 100% perfect. Good acting is not enough for you. You aren't willing to think outside the box.

Clever, Refreshing, Absorbing

See it if you're interesting in Shakespearean conspiracy and like British acting.

Don't see it if you dislike old English speech and care for an evening with dazzling oomph.

Great acting, Thought-provoking, Slow, Fluffy

See it if You love works of Shakespeare and you are familiar with the theory that Marlowe may be the real author of the plays.

Don't see it if You do not like English drama and/or puppetry within a play.

Also The playwright is a scholar on Marlowe and Shakespeare and has a forth... Read more Read less

Clever, Entertaining, Great acting, Intelligent

See it if You've any interest in Elizabethan England, or in Shakespeare or Marlowe.

Don't see it if Conspiracy theories leave you cold.

Also Len Rella was a standout in a dual role as a hired assassin and as Ben... Read more Read less

May 17th, 2018
“More of an argument than a play, and the characters are not much more than mouthpieces for theories that have been more persuasively argued elsewhere. Therefore, the evening makes for, as Shakespeare might state, a very long ‘two hours traffic of our stage.’ This is a pity since there is some fi...
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May 21st, 2018
"Hodges is a more accomplished playwright and literary researcher than director, allowing a great many different English accents to be used. Not only is the acting quite broad, it is also superficial and surface. All of the actors double with second appearances as other characters often following...
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May 17th, 2018
“A nifty, literate mystery...The best scene is the battle of wits between Shakespeare and Marlowe, staged as a mock puppet wrestling match...Although the play ends on a dreary note, its illumination of the lives of the characters—each actor portraying multiple figures—keeps the audience on its to...
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May 17th, 2018
“Whether you find this story plausible or not, it works very well within the world of the play...Somewhat reminiscent of ‘Shakespeare in Love’...This isn’t a casual comedy. You’ve got to pay attention. It’s theatre that forces you to listen and think...A mid-show puppet boxing match...Ridiculous ...
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