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Theatre company announces intention to close permanently later this year citing loss of Arts Council funding as a 'significant factor'.

Picture from a show called The Life & Loves of a Nobody, which toured in 2014, in which performers pull on some of the strings suspending white paper butterflies and they all bounce off and fall to the ground.
Third Angel's The Life & Loves of a Nobody


A Sheffield-based theatre company that is losing its status as a National Portfolio organisation has announced it will close for good in the summer.

Third Angel, established 27 years ago, has been funded to the tune of £120,000 a year by Arts Council England (ACE), but was told in November that its application for future investment between 2023 and 2026 had been unsuccessful.

A statement released by Third Angel said the fact the company will from April no longer be regularly funded by ACE was a "significant factor", but added that "it was not the deciding one".


It said that over the past couple of years the company's Artistic Directors, Rachael Walton and Alexander Kelly, have been reflecting on their artistic practice and thematic interests, and have taken the decision to stop working together. 

"As their collaboration is at the heart of Third Angel, the trustees agreed that the charity should close," the statement added.

Adrian Friedli, Chair of the Board of Trustees, said the board was fully supportive of the "difficult decision" of Kelly and Walton to embark on different artistic journeys.

"This is a moment to celebrate an important and unique contribution to contemporary theatre practice, and to the cultural ecology of Third Angel’s home city, Sheffield,” he said. 

The company’s community offer and its programme for young people, Future Makers, will continue to run as planned, with a final performance in the summer, as will its existing mentoring projects.

'Changed as people'

Walton said: “I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved over the years, the work we’ve made, the people we’ve met and the places we’ve visited. Third Angel will always hold a special place in my heart and has been a major part of my life.  

However, over time, Alex and I have inevitably grown and changed both as people and artists, and it feels as though this is the right time to pursue our own individual paths.

"I’m excited to see what the next chapter may hold, the future opportunities, collaborations and potential new projects.”

Kelly described bringing Third Angel to a close as "bittersweet".

"Of course there’s a sadness, but there is also so much to celebrate. Rachael and I got to make the theatre we wanted to make, and to share our work all over the UK, and around the world.

"We know we made a difference to audiences and participants, because they have told us so many times. I think we did it our own way. I hope we did it with kindness and care. 

"We collaborated with, and mentored, so many brilliant, inspiring people. I am looking forward to those relationships continuing and exploring new projects in different contexts.”