Beyond a common joy, and set it down
With gold on lasting pillars: the RSC hath dropped BP!
We are hurling our feathered caps into the air with wild abandon at the news: the Royal Shakespeare Company have announced they’re ending their sponsorship deal with BP!
Crucially, the RSC isn’t waiting for the 5-year deal to expire – they’re ending the contract early, at the end of this year. From 2020, there will be no more BP logos at the RSC.
This is a massive victory and testament to the energy, commitment and creative involvement of huge numbers of people over the last seven years. When we first invaded the RSC stage before a BP-sponsored play back in April 2012, we had no idea what we were starting, or who would get involved – from theatre professionals to rebel clowns to Mark Rylance to the youth strikers.
We’re over the moon to see the RSC understanding and acting on the reality of the climate emergency. Oil companies like BP have no place in our museums, galleries and theatres.
Please share the good news and help build pressure on the remaining oil-sponsored institutions to stop promoting the fossil fuel industry. You could share our announcement on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, or the Guardian article about it (which is on page 3 of the paper today).
It’s fantastic that our voices have (finally) been heard at the RSC – but there are still major cultural institutions who continue to promote BP, including the British Museum, Science Museum, Royal Opera House and National Portrait Gallery. Now where the RSC has led, the others must follow.
So this seems like a good time to tell you that on November 23rd, we’re planning the biggest protest the British Museum has ever seen (yes, even bigger than last time!), at the upcoming BP-sponsored Troy exhibition – click here for more details. Right now there are two simple things you can do to help make it happen:
1) We want to bring a Trojan Horse to the Troy exhibition, to highlight the fact that BP is using arts sponsorship to smuggle its destructive activities past our defences. We’ve launched a new crowdfunder to help make this happen – please click here if you’re able to donate even a small amount towards this!
2) If you might be free to join us on November 23rd then please fill in this form* and we’ll send you more details on how to be involved.
Huge thanks and congratulations, again, to everyone who’s been part of this campaign over the years and contributed to this amazing victory. Now, on to the British Museum – more details can be found here, and there’s also a Facebook event you can share here.
Day by day, step by step, the end of the fossil fuel age is coming closer…
Yours in hope and celebration,
BP or not BP? x
* It’s fine to use a disposable email address on this form if you don’t want to share your main one, but please remember to check it regularly for updates about the action!