Propeller (theatre company)

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Propeller is a theatre company which presents the plays of William Shakespeare in the UK and around the world. The director is Edward Hall, and the casts are exclusively male actors.


In the mid 1990s, the artistic director of the Watermill Theatre, Jill Fraser, offered Edward Hall the opportunity to direct Othello – his first full Shakespeare play. Although a success, Hall determined to use the experience to found an all-male Shakespeare company, "mixing a rigorous approach to the text with a modern physical aesthetic".[1]

Hall has set out the rules of his company, “Everyone is paid the same (tiny) wage and if an actor has created a part in a production then they will automatically receive an offer on the next one which they can refuse or take.” The company has seen new members since its start, keeping the group fresh.[2]

Propeller has won several theatre awards, including winner of the 1999 Barclays Theatre Award for Best Director (Edward Hall in Twelfth Night), winner of the 2002 Barclays Theatre Awards Best Touring Production for Rose Rage,[3] winner of the 2003 TMA Theatres Best Touring Production (A Midsummer Night's Dream), winner of 2004 Jeff Award for Best Director, subsequent American production (Edward Hall in Rose Rage), winner of 2007 OBIE Award for The Taming of the Shrew.[4]


The company has toured throughout the UK, and to Australia, Bangladesh, Barbados, China, Cyprus, Germany, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, The Philippines, Poland, Spain, Sri Lanka, Turkey and the USA.[5][6] They have appeared at the Shakespeare festival in Neuss, Germany.[7]


Actors who have appeared with Propeller include the following:
Dugald Bruce Lockhart (Petruchio, Olivia, Lysander), Tam Williams (Lucentio, Viola), Bob Barrett (Baptista, Malvolio, Antonio, Bottom), Joe Flynn (Sebastian, Curtis), Richard Dempsey (Lorenzo, Titania), Sam Swainsbury (Salerio, Demetrius), Jon Trenchard (Jessica, Robin Goodfellow, Bianca), Christopher Heyward (Orsino, Tailor, Widow), Jack Tarlton (Bassanio, Lysander, Hortensio, Orsino), John Dougall (Gobbo, Flute), Robert Hands (Helena), Jamie Glover (Henry V),[1] [4] Dominic Tighe (Queen Elizabeth), Richard Clothier (Richard III).


  1. ^ a b Theatre programme, Comedy Theatre, London, August 2003.
  2. ^ Propeller website
  3. ^ Oberon Books - A Midsummer Night's Dream page accessed 11 February 2015
  4. ^ a b Theatre programme, Everyman Cheltenham, June 2009.
  5. ^ Art Council England page on Propeller Archived 2015-02-12 at the Wayback Machine, accessed 11 February 2015
  6. ^ British Council Turkey report on Propeller accessed 11 February 2015
  7. ^ Shakespeare Festival in Globe Neuss - Propeller accessed 1 February 2015

External links

  • The website of Propeller
  • Edward Hall talks about directing the all-male Shakespeare company Propeller on The Interview Online
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