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Protestors take to the stage at Roundhouse over BP’s Olympic sponsorship

Last night (27th June 2012), to mark one month before the Olympics opening ceremony, a group of merry players known as the “Reclaim Shakespeare Company” took unexpectedly to the stage at the Roundhouse Theatre in Camden. Five minutes before a BP-sponsored Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) performance of The Comedy of Errors was due to begin, the actors performed a short Shakespeare-inspired piece. They challenged the RSC and the London Olympics over their decision to accept sponsorship from BP in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon drilling disaster [2] and the company’s decision to start extracting highly polluting and destructive tar sands oil in Canada [3].

The surprise performance coincided with a theatre outing for BP employees, which meant that a significant portion of the audience was made up of BP staff, making the pop-up protest especially embarrassing for the RSC.

This was the third such intervention by the Reclaim Shakespeare Company, the first two having taken place on the Royal Shakespeare Theatre stage in Stratford-upon-Avon.[4] It came a week after Mark Rylance, one of the UK’s leading actors, who is performing in the Olympic opening ceremony, expressed his concerns about BP’s sponsorship of the Olympics and the Cultural Olympiad (of which the World Shakespeare Festival is part) on Radio 4’s Today Programme.[5]

Read the full article here on the BP-or-not-BP.org website

Filed under: campaigns, corporate gain, film


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