We are BP or not BP? – a merry troupe of players who came together in 2012 aghast that our beloved Bard’s works and memory had been purloined by BP in a case of greenwash most foul. We are like a drop of water that in the ocean seeks another drop. Together, we will make a flood.
Now we are a national network of actor-vists, our number growing daily. Our first anarcho-thespian performance (as the Reclaim Shakespeare Company), on April 23rd 2012 (Shakespeare’s birthday), starred 2 players; our largest to date – a Viking flash-horde of 200. We have performed without permission many times upon different theatre stages, at the British Museum, the Edinburgh International Festival, the National Gallery and in Tate Britain. You can watch films of them here.
We invade stages and cultural spaces with courage, humour and respect, well-polished and thoughtful, our aim to win over audiences, to provoke and entertain, and to make the RSC, the British Museum and others profoundly uncomfortable with the noxious, treach’rous, belching oily rogue they have chosen as a partner.
We have achieved fame and notoriety in our brief existence. At our Roundhouse performance, by merry coincidence, we happened upon a corporate outing for BP employees hosted by the RSC. So we can be assured that bigwigs from both organisations are well aware of our japes.
We believe deeply in solidarity, and regularly partner with representatives of communities feeling the monstrous force of BP’s misdeeds. From the Gulf Coast to the Tar Sands, from Colombia to Australia, from West Papua to Azerbaijan to Egypt to Mexico – we stand shoulder to shoulder with those battling BP’s destructive greed, and bring their voices and demands into our performances where we can.
We have signed up to the Fossil Funds Free commitment, and will not rest until we have collectively (with Art Not Oil Coalition friends Liberate Tate, Rising Tide, Platform and others) kicked BP out of the arts. We recognise this to be a tall order, but believe that our particular brand of ‘guerrilla Shakespeare’ and other theatrical offerings is making a significant contribution to ushering in the end of the oil sponsorship age, which may not be so far away as it might appear…
Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more!
We are proud co-founders of the Fossil Funds Free commitment to never take oil, gas or coal money for our art. Join us!
The goodly people at Climate Rush hath us some ducats given to keep us upon the stage.