Arts Council NPO Funding Statement from Edward Hall

In 2012/13 Propeller performed for 32 weeks in the UK giving 195 performances to 72,867 people, 19,600 of whom were 21 or younger,with 80% of national reviews being 4star plus

Over the last three years audiences have grown by 20% from 60,454 to 72,867

Propeller has repeatedly increased the number of venues it plays to whilst maintaining its relationship with The Touring Partnership’s network of 10 large-scale regional venues

ACE funding represents 19.42% of Propeller’s annual turnover of £1,307,761. Propeller raises the rest of the income via fees at home and abroad and fundraising. ACE funding is the vital seed money for this enormous body of work.

Internationally, Propeller has toured to 22 countries over the last three years and has performed to 95,726 people.

Artistic Director Edward Hall said:

'Despite this extraordinary record on the national and international touring circuit bringing Shakespeare to thousands of people in the regions and beyond, Propeller has been turned down for funding from ACE. This prevents the company from forward planning and calls into question the future.

ACE have told us: 'We decided that, taking into account the quality and level of your artform provision available nationally, we preferred other applications.' 

Whilst a lack of commitment from ACE to high quality touring theatre on a financial basis is perhaps understandable, Propeller's national reach and quality of work cannot be called into question as our track record amply demonstrates. I am sorry that this decision will prevent us from continuing to pursue our national touring programme which has delighted so many thousands of people and which will prevent our company from pursuing its commitment to delivering affordable, high quality drama in the regions.’

Edward Hall



“We’ve developed a strong, enthusiastic and loyal audience for Propeller’s work.  The company’s hallmarks of technically-brilliant verse speaking, inventive staging, emotional range and all-round quality delight the wide range of people who attend their work here.  There is no other drama company available to us which consistently delivers to these extremely high standards year in, year out.  It goes to the heart of what we believe theatre at its best is capable of – illuminating, educating and transforming.”

Mark Hazell, Marketing Director, Theatre Royal, Norwich

“Well that was worth missing the football for”

14 year old boy at a performance of Pocket Dream during the World Cup

“This is Shakespeare as it should be done – fast, sinuous and surprising”

Michael, Coveney, The Independent ****

“Propeller proves again the value of a true ensemble and a director who treats Shakespeare’s plays as if they had just been written ....I would have cried if I hadn’t have been laughing so much.”

Lyn Gardner, The Guardian *****

“I brought my two sons, 11yrs and 14yrs.They said it was the best thing they had ever seen - even better than the west end musicals they've been to. A great way to introduce Shakespeare to the next generation.”

Audience member

“There were moments of silence in our theatre that are most rare in the school...the students particularly responded to the visceral, imaginative production values through which that story ...came across so powerfully and clearly. Many have been raving about it today.”

A teacher

“Their approach revolves around a balance of clarity and speed, physicality and playfulness, served up by an ensemble who offer up the sense of joint ownership that is more often talked about than actually seen.”

Dominic Maxwell, The Times ****

“The overriding feeling is of Shakespeare pulsing with muscular life – fresh, physical and utterly modern ...”

The Independent

“Propeller has brought Shakespeare kicking and screaming into the 21st century”

The Metro