Alas and alack, friends…
Today the Royal Shakespeare Company announced a new partnership with BP for its £5 ticket scheme for 16 – 25 year olds.
James Atherton, 23, who acted in one of of our on-stage protests last autumn, sums up our feelings today:
‘I am outraged that BP is targeting young people through this sponsorship deal. This company is responsible for massive carbon emissions and the devastation of ecosystems in the Gulf Coast and the Canadian tar sands. The RSC is essentially forcing young people like me to choose between having access to subsidised theatre and staying true to our commitment to a future with a stable climate and a healthy planet. Big oil should not be allowed to fund the arts, it’s as simple as that.’
We were hoping that the new Artistic Director Greg Doran would listen to the concerns of theatre-goers and actors and end the RSC’s relationship with BP. We are deeply disappointed to learn that this is not the case. We believe that BP is an immoral choice of sponsor, and we will continue to pop up unexpectedly at the RSC to make this point in creative and attention-grabbing ways for as long as the sponsorship deal continues. Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more! Now, where was that ruff…?
Meanwhile, we have launched a petition for RSC-lovers to sign, calling on the theatre company to drop BP as a sponsor. Please sign, and share!
UPDATE: The Stage covered our wailings of distress! Next stop, an actual stage…