THE IRON MASK
by Sian Napier
The huge mask which stood outside Canterbury’s Marlowe Theatre from 2003 until it was demolished in 2009 has returned.
Bulkhead, to give it its real name, was moved back to the theatre in The Friars on Friday but now stands by the river in the newly-created outdoor seating area.
The mask is the work of sculptor Rick Kirby and arrived in the city as part of a sculpture festival called Blok.
It was so popular that Canterbury council bought it and had it installed by the old theatre’s forecourt where it stayed until the Marlowe was pulled down.
It was then removed to the council offices in Military Road where it remained outside until Friday.
Marlowe Theatre director Mark Everett said: “It’s wonderful that the Marlowe mask has returned to its rightful place and it was great to see it settling in to its new home by the riverside.
“The mask was always very popular with theatregoers and we know people will be delighted to see it return.”
THE IRON MASK . . . Poem by WHB
The authors in these lines of verse
Are from a distant time
From ages past into the mists
Of tragedy and rhyme.
Dumas was steeped in history
He set himself the task
Of counts and musketeers to write,
The Man in the Iron Mask
Kit Marlowe’s plays were tragedies
Of complex anguished beings
Of Tamburlaine and Faust he wrote
Portrayed their tortured feelings.
The Mask is that of Tragedy
The Greeks performed their dramas
It brings to mind Marlowe’s great themes
Which glimpse life’s endless traumas.
To me this linkage then arose
Between the two famed authors
Take or leave it for what it’s worth
It’s what this conceit proffers.