Alas! The RSC is back in the arms of BP…

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…


Photo by Kristian Buus

4 thoughts on “Alas! The RSC is back in the arms of BP…

  1. You are very right with this action. BP has on of the most powerful marketing machines on the planet, and they know very well what they are doing. The way marketing works is: if you connect your brand with something that resonates strongly with people, it sticks with people unconsiously. When you see a campaign that is as usual totally engulfed in sexual connotations, your brain flashes wildly and this makes you remember the connection with the brand and this feeling unconsiously.
    And it is very obvious what BP is doing: they are trying to connect the name of their brand with something that resonates strongly in all human beings: Pure creativity, art, beauty. You see this in their logo: it is not only the color green, but also the flower form and the geometry of the golden ratio, just like the apple logo. We see these forms everywhere in nature, and by putting these in your brand logo you are deceiving people that your brand stands for everything that is good while doing the complete opposite!

    I think these forms of advertising are inherently evil and disgusting! This is pure brainwashing, and shouldn’t be allowed.

    My full support to all your future actions, I hope I can someday also make a difference.



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