Our debut week has been such stuff as dreams are made on! Two well-received ‘guerilla Shakespeare’ performances, strong reviews (see list below), and much chatter and philosophising on the question of whether it is appropriate for BP, that smiling damn villain, to be sponsoring the World Shakespeare Festival and the Royal Shakespeare Company.
We note with particular satisfaction that even Michael Boyd, Artistic Director of the RSC, has expressed some pleasure at our recent performances. Perhaps he too feels some queasiness at taking money from this hugely destructive company? Mr Boyd declares “Since Shakespeare’s day, live theatre has always been a place for actors, directors and writers to speak out. From our earliest beginnings in the 1960s, we have encouraged open and creative expressing amongst our artists”.
Bravo, say we! But unfortunately, the image the RSC’s top man paints does not quite tally with our own experiences. Whilst some theatre practitioners did feel able to sign a letter to the Guardian expressing their “deep concern” at the BP/ RSC deal, many that we and others have spoken to within the theatre world feared to speak out. It seems the tentacles of the greenwash monster reach far and wide within our country’s cultural institutions.
So, we’d like to ask Mr Boyd: can RSC staff-members and actors really go public with their views on the oil giant? We hope so… To thine own self be true.
Some of our reviews so far:
What’s on Stage: Protesters ask ‘BP or not BP?’ in Royal Shakespeare Theatre
The Guardian: RSC targeted by anti-BP protesters
Stratford Herald: Watch protesters jump onto RSC stage
Stratford Observer: Environmental protesters storm stage of RST
Stratford Herald: Second protest in three days as RSC stage is invaded again
New Internationalist: To BP or not to BP?
The Stage Reviews: Twelfth Night
Stratford Herald: RSC and BP content to let onstage protests continue
Nonprofit Quarterly: To BP or Not to BP? That’s the Sponsorship Question for Royal Shakespeare Company
What’s on Stage?: RSC welcome more protests
Morning Star: The Comedy Of Errors, Twelfth Night & The Tempest