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


So we’re here for a production of The Tempest
which BP is sponsoring, at the Royal Shakespeare Company, we’re about to take to the stage
to try and stop BP fooling people into believing they’re a green, caring company when the
reality is that they’re one of the most environmentally destructive companies in the
world, they still haven’t cleaned up after the Deepwater Horizon disaster two years ago,
they’re now planning to drill for oil in the Arctic, and they’re investing in the
tar sands in Canada. So, off we go! We are now going to give a short two-minute
performance. 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 for 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! [Laughter and applause] We invite you to join us in tearing the logo
from your programme. Please help us to free the arts from BP. There’ll be people with
buckets to collect these logos after the show. We are the Reclaim Shakespeare Company, we
hope you enjoy tonight’s show. [Applause] So we just came out, it went really well,
lots of applause, and this is the launch of the Reclaim Shakespeare Company. So we encourage
people, wherever they are, to join us in freeing the arts from BP, and doing things like this
wherever the World Shakespeare Festival’s happening.

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