City breaks in Kent for theatre lovers 

Kent is known and loved as the garden of England for its stunning scenery and coastlines, but Kent has much more than that to offer. Kent is a country rich in history and culture and is the perfect destination for theatre lovers wanting to get away for the weekend.

Kent’s association with the theatre goes back many years. In fact, the remains of a Roman theatre were discovered in Kent, complete with an orchestra pit. While this one may not have much of a current programme, there are plenty of modern-day alternatives to choose. We’ve picked out a few of our favourite theatres in Kent, all located in beautiful towns or cities. Any one of these spots would make for a wonderful mini-break, so let’s get this show on the road!

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The Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury

If you really want to plan an unforgettable city break in Kent then you can’t go wrong with a trip to Canterbury, once the capital of the Kingdom of Kent and the county’s most ancient city. The Marlowe Theatre is a stunning contrast to Canterbury’s rich history – a state-of-the-art showstopper of a theatre, seating 1,200 and hosting everything from West End musicals to ballet and opera. There’s guaranteed to be something for everyone at the Marlowe.

The Playhouse Theatre, Whitstable

At the opposite end of the theatre spectrum to the Marlowe is the Playhouse Theatre in Whitstable, with just 174 seats. The Playhouse is owned and run by the Lindley Players, so much of the programme is devoted to their own productions. If you want a traditional, local theatre experience then you’ll love the vibe at the Playhouse. Don’t forget to enjoy some oysters while you’re in Whitstable!

The Oast Theatre, Tonbridge

Another community-led theatre, the Oast makes our list for it’s unusual building – a former oast house that was in use until the mid-60s and transformed into a theatre in the 1970s. Oast houses are a common sight accross Kent and the Oast Theatre is now home to one of the most active community theatre groups in the country, with ten major productions every year. If you’re keen to support local theatre at its best then be sure to pay the Oast a visit and help the group continue to thrive.

Outdoor theatre steeped in history

If you’re visiting Kent in the warmer months, it’s worth looking not just at the traditional theatres, but at some of the historical venues that host outdoor theatre through the summer. Not only do you get the performance, but you’ll get the history of the venue and can enjoy a glass of wine and a picnic! Some of the venues in Kent that have hosted outdoor theatre in the past include Hever Castle in Edenbridge, the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, Chatham Historic Dockyard, Deal Castle, Rochester Castle and Chartwell in Westerham, Winston Churchill’s former home.

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Shakespeare’s Globe, London

Okay, so this one isn’t technically Kent, but as much as we love our county, we couldn’t not give a mention to what must be one of the most famous theatres in the world. The current Globe is a reconstruction of the original theatre, where Shakespeare’s plays were performed in the 16th and 17th centuries, but it has all of the magic and charm intact. You can whizz into London from your city break base in Kent, and enjoy a performance at the Globe without paying London hotel prices.

Wherever in Kent you end up for your theatrical city break we’re sure you’ll have a fabulous time, so start browsing the theatre programmes and beauty spots and break a leg!

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