Shakespeare Marathon | Celebrate 400 years

by Troubadour Stageworks in London, Greater London, United Kingdom

Total raised £4,690

raised so far

+ est. £662.50 Gift Aid



Help us raise £5,000 and support our work as we aim to improve Access to the Arts Everywhere.

by Troubadour Stageworks in London, Greater London, United Kingdom

We're still collecting donations

On the 14th November 2023 we'd raised £4,280 with 63 supporters in 35 days. But as every pound matters, we're continuing to collect donations from supporters.

What are we doing

Shakespeare Marathon 
Hosted by Dr Johnson House

We are undertaking Non-stop Shakespeare Marathon 

We will be live streaming on the 8th November*, 10am – 10pm.  

  • Which plays will we perform?
  • How long can we play?  
  • Which characters will you see?
  • And who will make the tea?


How you can help  

Sponsor us if you can as we attempt this Shakespeare Marathon.

You will be supporting us in our mission: Access To The Arts Everywhere.   All funds raised will aid future development, the creation of new stories and rejuvenation of old stories for forgotten and hidden places and help us bring theatre to new people and new communities.

Please do join us on the day, we would love to see you drop in and live stream us into your home.

Live Stream link: 

Our programme is now available here: 


Who we are and what we do


We are an arts & theatre charity bringing communities together through stories - breathe life into your local history, rediscover an old classic, or experience new writing in exciting and unique venues.

‘It’s a whirlwind. It’s amazing. It’s a thing to behold.’  Lady Lucy French, CBE on Fix the Folio, 2023

‘Great production last night’ Dan Snow on Much Ado About Nothing, 2022

‘My heartfelt congratulations to you all’ Hugh Bonneville, Alls Well That Ends Well, 2021



Geographic Access

We tour nationwide to any location. We purposefully keep our productions portable and non-tech reliant, meaning all venues are logistically possible.

Three actors by the sea, from 2023's The Odyssey

Funding for The Arts is focused in major urban centres, though the arts council is changing its focus the effect is not yet felt and the South West, currently our main area of operation, is the most underfunded in the UK**.

For rural inhabitants not only does this make the arts distant, there is the added cost of driving to a town, the time it takes, and the necessity of overnight accommodation are all additional prohibitive costs to engaging in live storytelling.

In 2021 I was told by the headmaster of a rural Cornish primary school, where nearly all the pupils were on free school meals and the region is on the UK governments 30% LSOA deprivation index, that he feared more for the futures of the rural students in his care than his previous inner city pupils, because the inner city pupils had the opportunity to walk to another part of town and see aspiration. A different type of life that can be striven for. In some rural areas, generations of the same family never leave the local town. If a different life is not able to be witnessed, it cannot be dreamt and striven for.

Economic Access 

Live storytelling is the social and cultural activity of sharing stories, sometimes with improvisation, theatrics, or embellishment. It exists (and existed) to entertain, to inform, and to pass on cultural traditions and values.

Have you ever edited an essay? Isn’t it odd how you always find something more to cut or to tweak. Imagine that experience for centuries - as stories are distilled to fundamental truths through repetition.

One key and magical aspect to oral storytelling was its improvisatory nature: a story told specifically for members of an audience must change subtly to their reactions in order to keep them enthralled. This improvisation is sensed by the audience and therefore it gains a magical atmosphere as they feel they have ‘actively contributed to the birth of a shared unique experience’. 

Ben Haggarty, 'The art and alchemy of traditional storytelling', RSA Journal, 147 (1999), p. 96) 

Storytelling is part of our historic heritage and should not be gatekeeped by economic access. As such at Troubadour Stageworks we cut everything to keep costs low: no set, no van, minimal props.  

Even so theatre is expensive. It is a gamble- virtually all costs are upfront on the assumption of success. Hence this fundraiser, with help from people like you we are able to keep the costs low and offer access to a wider audience.


Story Access 

Performing within the familiar. 

If you have never experienced theatre before it not just the story that is new: it is the experience of driving to the theatre, buying and checking of a ticket, the shuffle to seats in the middle row, dress code, accepted audience etiquette while lights are down. To the newcomer much can be intimidating.

We bind our stories to local places, the familiar. By creating a stage in any space not only do we create unique shows every evening that complement both space and text equally, we also remove an immediate barrier to access. Shows in familiar locations, with the option for a 5 year old to watch a scene, and then play, for someone with back pain to change between sitting and standing and move around, choose your viewing spot, all allow theatre to be that much more accessible.


In 2022 over 60% of our venues had never hosted live events or been involved in the arts before partnering with us, encouraging them to continue similar projects in the future.   

 Our approach to text   

‘storytelling supports the improved development of critical thinking skills, creativity, active participation/engagement in learning, literacy skills, narrative thinking abilities, self-exploration, and interpersonal skills.’

Denise Agosto, ‘If I Had Three Wishes: The Educational and Social/Emotional Benefits of Oral Storytelling’, Storytelling, Self, Society,  9, 1 (2013)

This fundraiser is partly celebrating 400 years of retelling one man’s classic tales. Now we know why telling classic tales are important, the next question is how.

A story does not need to be dumbed down. It is our jobs as creatives to make original text accessible and that starts with understanding, both through workshops and fundamentally priorities in our rehearsal process. If all the actors understand the text, poetry and underlying themes, that understanding can be passed on.

We were struck last season by audiences, both in The Odyssey and Romeo and Juliet, reporting their bemused pleasure that, though we stuck true to the parts that were 17th and 18th century poetry, they found our approach both accessible and understandable.


Thank you

On behalf of the Troubadour Stageworks team, thank you for your interest and your generous sponsorship. Your support means we can provide more shows and workshops in rural and often deprived locations, at lower costs to audiences, and increase our work in schools to provide speaking and confidence-building workshops.

A link to the live streaming will be sent to all those who pledge support prior to the Marathon.  You will also find details of the link on our website and social media platforms.

Please visit our website or follow us on social media to find out more about what we are doing. We hope to see you soon.



A registered theatrical charity (no. 1193809).
[email protected]



*Why the 8th November and why Shakespeare?

8th November 2023, 400-year anniversary of Shakespeare’s First Folio – a monumental collection of his plays which was first registered in the very heart of the Fleet Street area, within the historic Stationers Hall.

** The South West Region received 8.19% of the Arts Council NPO Funding, the lowest distribution in the UK. This includes the figures for museums and many other aspects of the creative arts. Just 6.07% of that 8.19% (0.5% of overall annual state funding) is dedicated to rural south west theatre. Source


This project offered rewards

£20 or more

£20 and over

Receive a copy of the Celebration digital program for Shakespeare Marathon complete with running order for the day (to be sent out from 1 November).

£50 or more

£50 and over

If you wish, your name will be included on a list of supporters on the Troubadour website, plus the award above.

£80 or more

£80 and over

3 for the price of 2 at one performance during 2024, plus the above rewards.

£100 or more

£100 or over

If you wish we will list your name (or your chosen business/Trust) as a sponsor in all our programs for 2024, plus all the above awards.

£500 or more

£500 or over

Free entry for 4 at A Midsummers Night Dream at Hatch House (date TBC) plus all the awards above.

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