We are the Reclaim Shakespeare Company – a merry troupe of players aghast that our beloved Bard’s works and memory have 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.
We are a loose network of actor-vists, our number growing daily. Our first anarcho-thespian performance on April 23rd 2012 (Shakespeare’s birthday) starred 2 players; our largest – 200. We have performed many times upon four different theatre stages, at the British Museum and in Tate Britain. You can watch films of many of these here.
We invade stages 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 Tate 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. Many adore us, though we have received a few boos and one of two hisses when inviting audiences to rip the BP logos from their programmes. These have always been swiftly drowned out by applause.
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. Indeed, the Director of the RSC has publicly stated that he will not stop us, should we pop up again. We have a growing collection of famous theatrical friends, from whom we know that there is now a huge debate within the RSC about sponsorship issues in general and BP in particular, precipitated by our antics.
All this brings us joy, but our job is not yet done. We will not rest until we have collectively (with our friends Liberate Tate, Art Not Oil, Rising Tide, UK Tar Sands Network, 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’ 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!