The Marlowe Showcase Spring 2021 has been cancelled after complaints about ‘all-white’ casting

The Marlowe Society published a statement about the cancellation on their Facebook page


The 2021 Marlowe Showcase has been cancelled following criticisms over racial diversity in its casting, a statement on the Marlowe Society’s website has confirmed.

The statement addressed concerns that the show was to have an “all-white cast”, and says that the committee will be cancelling the production: “[W]e have taken the decision, as a committee, to cancel this year’s Showcase. This was not an easy decision, and we would like to make clear two things: one, that this is in no way the fault of the cast; and secondly, that this is not an attempt to clear the slate or pretend that an all-white Showcase did not occur.

“It did, and we are sorry. However, we think the potential for hurt in carrying on with the production would be more than that in cancelling it.”

The Marlowe Showcase is an annual production for 12 graduating Cambridge students to work with a professional actor and showcase their performing talents. When the casting of the show was revealed this year, it was criticised for an alleged lack of diversity in its casting.

(Credit: Adcbridge via Facebook)


The Marlowe Society’s statement reads: “Over the past few days, response to the casting of this year’s Marlowe Showcase has made it clear to us not only how unacceptable it was, but the hurt it has caused BME students in our community.”

They have said that they plan to hold a forum for BME students to discuss their experiences around the cancelled Showcase and express their grievances. They have also created a Google Form that is “specifically aimed at BME students” to voice complaints anonymously.

The Marlowe Society have since added to their statement in a request for comment from The Cambridge Tab, saying that: “We would like to reiterate that we support the completely justified response to the casting of the Showcase, and would also like to make clear that this was a decision taken by the committee for a variety of reasons, and in acknowledgement of mistakes made by the committee and not by the response of those raising these issues.

“Our action plan for change beyond the forum will be released as soon as it has been properly considered.”

Feature image credit: Sophie Macdonald