“What was done is done and cannot be undone!” It is as wrote William Shakespeare in Macbeth in the Seventeenth century. Yet, the prestigious theatre company Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) announced on Wednesday that it renounce the aid of the oil group BP in the name of the”climate emergency”. The sponsorship of BP allowed the RSC, theatre company in the uk based in Stratford-Upon-Avon, Shakespeare’s birthplace, to offer tickets at £ 5 (5,60 euros) for young people aged 16 to 25 years from 2013.
The director of British Museum defends its collaboration with oil giant BP
“In a context of climate emergency, that we recognize the young people, we now say clearly that the sponsorship of BP creates a barrier between them and their desire to get involved with the RSC. We can’t ignore this message”, explained Gregory Doran, artistic director of the RSC, and Catherine Mallyon, the executive director, in a press release. They announce they have made the “difficult decision” to end their collaboration with BP at the end of 2019.
“The young people we are now saying clearly that the sponsorship of BP creates a barrier between them and their desire to get involved with the RSC”
BP said it was “disappointed and dismayed that the RSC has decided to end our partnership”. Recently an association of young people to the origin of strikes in school to denounce the inaction in the face of climate change (UK Student Climate Network) wrote to the RSC, blaming him for the sponsorship of BP. “This means that if we, the youth, want to see a play in your theatre at an affordable price, we must help to promote a business that destroys actively involved in our future by upsetting the climate,” they wrote.
For months, artists and activists in environmental protest against the links between BP or other oil companies and cultural institutions in uk such as the National Portrait Gallery, the Royal Opera House or the British Museum. Last June, the british actor Mark Rylance had announced to leave the RSC to oppose to the patronage of BP. The comedian had explained not wanting “to be associated with BP as I don’t want to be an arms dealer, a seller of tobacco, or any person who deliberately destroys the life of people living and unborn.”