The American drama critic, Calvin Hoffman, edged a step nearer testing his theory that the plays of Shakespeare were in fact written by Christopher Marlowe, when a church court on January 2 gave permission for a tomb to be opened. The Consistory (bishops) Court at Chislehurst on the southern fringe of London granted the request from the local Lord of the Manor, who owns the ground in which the tomb rests, provided the work was supervised by an architect. The tomb is that of an Elizabethan notable, Sir Thomas Walsingham, which has lain there for over 350 years. Mr. Hoffman hopes to find original Shakespeare manuscripts written in Marlowe's hand and papers showing that Marlowe was not murdered in May 1593 as has been generally believed.