‘Out damn logo!’ We take to the stage. Twice.

Dear actor-vists,

This week, the Reclaim Shakespeare Company is back with a vengeance, jumping onto BP-sponsored stages and performing guerrilla Shakespeare before startled but receptive audiences. Get the full story below, along with the latest on the Greenwash Gold campaign, which is coming to a head as the Olympics hurtle towards us.

1. ‘Out damn logo!’
2. Will BP win Greenwash Gold?
3. Upcoming event: Art-Oil-Numbers-Bodies-Love

As you know, the arts are underfunded – and our particular brand of pop-up performance is no exception. Could you help us do more of these interventions by making a donation? We promise to spend it on creative action against oil industry sponsorship of the arts.

Love not logos,

Jess, Emily, Sue and Ruthi


1. ‘Out damn logo!’

On Wednesday night, our very own Jess and Emily were part of a group who leapt onto the Roundhouse Theatre stage in Camden, and delivered a three-minute performance about BP’s sponsorship of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Comedy of Errors, just before it started. The daring piece of guerrilla Shakespeare involved a huge BP-logo ruff, the smearing of oil, and an unplanned cameo from a member of staff who was hoping we would stop. We didn’t. The applause at the end was all the more sweet when we later discovered that our bardic protest had coincided with a BP staff trip to the theatre! What are the chances?! Full story and film of the performance here.

BP the monstrous tar-drenched knave, by David Hoffman

Then last night, the Reclaim Shakespeare Company struck again, this time at the Riverside Studios performance of ‘Romeo and Juliet in Baghdad’. The two-minute soliloquy by the magnificent Pete the Temp accused the World Shakespeare Festival of hypocrisy for staging a play by the Iraqi Theatre Company – thus presenting themselves as a friend and supporter of Iraqi culture – whilst accepting sponsorship money from BP which actively lobbied for, and profited from, the military invasion of Iraq in 2003. Again, it was greeted with much applause. Full story here.

These performances came a week after Mark Rylance, one of the UK’s leading actors, expressed concerns about BP sponsorship of the Olympics, live on the Radio 4 Today Programme – despite being involved in the Olympics opening ceremony. We hope the Reclaim Shakespeare Company’s actions this week will add fuel to this fire, and spur on organisations like the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Olympics to adopt ethical sponsorship policies so that they don’t make such bad choices in the future.

2. Will BP win Greenwash Gold?

With the Olympics now less then a month away the race is on to determine the biggest corporate greenwasher. Voting so far is in the thousands, with Rio Tinto currently in the lead, BP second and Dow Chemical third – but all could change in the next few weeks! If you haven’t already, please tell all of your friends to vote for BP! You can also tweet about it with hashtag #greenwashgold. The final results will be announced soon.

If you’ve forgotten what’s wrong with BP, we have a new video with representatives from impacted communities in the Gulf of Mexico and tar sands sharing their stories with protesters outside the BP AGM.

There is now also a Greenwash Gold Early Day Motion that you can encourage your MP to support. John McDonnell, Caroline Lucas and plenty others have already signed it – has your MP?

In other Greenwash Gold news, we took our message directly the door of London 2012 organisers LOCOG last week. LOCOG has been refusing to meet with Dow, BP and Rio Tinto campaigners despite repeated requests over the last six months. Drop Dow Now took part in an international protest coordinated with groups in India, US and Canada against the involvement of Dow Chemical in the games.


3. Upcoming event: Art-Oil-Numbers-Bodies-Love

If you’ve been inspired by any of the artistic interventions against oil sponsorship of the arts that have happened over the last couple of years, and want to do one yourself, this could be the workshop for you. Our wondrous friends at Platform are running a ‘3-day intensive workshop in which participants will be encouraged to try different strategies for producing small solo and collaborative live art gestures or mini-performances on the subject of oil economies and oil sponsorship of art and culture.’ More information here.

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