BP or not BP? The debut performance of the Reclaim Shakespeare Company





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Published on Apr 25, 2012

Vote BP for worst Olympic sponsor!: www.greenwashgold.org

On April 23rd 2012 - Shakespeare's birthday and the launch of the World Shakespeare Festival - a group of merry players known as the "Reclaim Shakespeare Company" took unexpectedly to the stage in Stratford-upon-Avon, just before a Royal Shakespeare Company performance of The Tempest. This piece of guerilla Shakespeare aimed to challenge the RSC over its decision to accept sponsorship from BP in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon drilling disaster and the oil company's decision to start extracting highly polluting and destructive tar sands in Canada. Find out more here:

Filmed by Zoe Broughton

Here's the script in full:

What country, friends, is this?

Where the words of our most prized poet

Can be bought to beautify a patron

So unnatural as British Petroleum?

Strange association!

They, who have incensed the seas and shores

From a dark deepwater horizon

Who have unleashed most foul destruction

Upon far Canada's aged forests,

Clawing out the lungs of our sickening earth

Who even now would bespoil the high, white Arctic

In desperate search of more black gold

To make them ever richer. These savage villains!

And yet --

They wear a painted face of bright green leaves,

Mask themselves with sunshine.

And with fine deceitful words

They steal into our theatres, and our minds.

They would have us sleep.

But this great globe of ours is such stuff as dreams are made on.

Most delicate, wondrous, to be nurtured

For our children and theirs beyond.

Let not BP turn these dreams to nightmares.

Fuelling the Future? Thou liest malignant thing! Do we sleep?

I find not myself disposed to sleep.

Let us break their staff that would bewitch us!

Out damned logo!

Facebook: BP or not BP?

Comments • 7

Matthew Walpole
Hi there -- I'm going to be doing a similar kind of protest in this area and I am looking for a shakespeare outfit. Don't suppose you still happen to have yours and to still be in the area? If you do, that would be a massive help and I think really make my protest more effective! Cheers, M.
Teza Theboffin
Superb, love it :D
Cathie Fredrickson
Bravo!!!!!! Bravo!
karen harvill
Thank you so much! We who live on the Gulf Coast are still in peril and the now the local govt has shut down the shrimping...because of deformity, size (small) missing eyes, Blue crab without claws, fish with lesions ...the gulf is changed forever from the toxic spew of BP...BP should not be allowed to act as if they appreciate beauty when they disregard it all over the world!! Tar Sands is another dreadful BP deceit...ART with oil...Art not Oil...don't feed the greed!!
Julian Cheyne
Love it. Stars, show your ire. Support not BP's dark and deep(water) desires.
Robert J. Williamson
I agree but the RSC is a massive company that is all about big business. The theatre you are standing in front of cost the tax payer £150 million and yet there is no way the average person could ever afford a ticket. Then there is the Globe which is self funding and offers standing tickets very cheap and even saves a few back to get each day. The RSC is the BP of the arts world. Taking all the money and pushing every other company out leaving not a penny left for other Shakespeare funding. 
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