A spokesman for the RSC said: “A further peaceful protest by two people about BP's sponsorship of the World Shakespeare Festival took place on stage in Stratford-upon-Avon yesterday evening before the press performance of Twelfth Night.”

It was the second time in three days the stage of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre had been invaded. The protesters asked audience members to rip out the BP logo from their programmes.

Reaffirming his position made earlier on in the week, RSC Artistic Director Michael Boyd said: “We respect people's right to protest peacefully.

“However, where there is any threat to the safety of RSC staff, actors, audiences or, indeed, protesters, we will take appropriate action.

“We have an incident management plan in place, drawn up with the help of the police. It is regularly reviewed and covers events of this sort.”

Protesters from the Reclaim Shakespeare Company invade the stage on Wednesday night