THEATRE: CURTAIN CALLS

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The Independent Culture
It's official: Christopher Marlowe is the next best thing to Shakespeare.

Three rival biopics were announced last year, all of which purport to tell the true story of the author of Dr Faustus and Edward II, the playwright and possible spy who had a rather longer dalliance with "youthful indiscretion" than Michael Portillo. One of these films boasted Rufus Sewell as the main man and another announced its candidacy by pointing out that it was based on The Reckoning, the engrossing novel about Marlowe by Charles Nicholl.

Meantime, back in the theatre, Noel Greig wrote The Death of Christopher Marlowe almost two decades ago and over in New York, The Public Theatre will shortly stage a reading of David Grimm's play on the subject. The latest dose of Marlowe comes in the enticing form of the Almeida's new production of The Jew of Malta. But for biographical background, head to Chichester for The School of Night, Peter Whelan's 1993 RSC play, in a timely revival.

`The School of Night', Festival Theatre, Chichester (01243 781312) to 2 Oct

David Benedict

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