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Rebel performers warn of ‘some surprises’ at protest

The RSC has announced the closure of all its venues this evening, Monday, March 16
The RSC has announced the closure of all its venues this evening, Monday, March 16

SEVENTY rebel theatre performers will be in Stratford-upon-Avon today, Saturday, as part of an on-going protest at the Royal Shakespeare Company’s sponsorship deal with oil company BP.

There will be a Shakespearean insult booth, music, poetry, a spoof fashion show, wrestling clowns, a ‘mischief mob’ of the Bard’s characters, and a performance highlighting BP’s global impacts.

The rebel performances will feature voices and case studies from communities who claim to be facing repression for challenging BP’s operations, including the Indigenous freedom movement in West Papua, a country currently under Indonesian military occupation and where BP runs a major natural gas extraction project.

It will be the largest event that activist theatre group BP or not BP? has held since forming in 2012, and will take place around the RSC’s theatres on Waterside, between 12noon and 5pm.

The RSC funds discount tickets for young people using sponsorship money from BP. BP or not BP? has also accused the RSC of hypocrisy for staging plays that champion freedom of protest in its current Mischief Festival, while promoting the oil giant BP.

Sarah Horne, a member of BP or not BP? said Saturday will be the group’s 50th rebel performance against oil sponsorship of the arts, and insisted there would be some surprises, but that there would be no attempt to disrupt or interfere with the RSC’s own matinee performances.

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