Yesterday, the Royal Shakespeare Company held its Annual General Meeting. While it is not a public event, the company also published its 2016/17 Annual Review on the same day.
We were delighted to see that the RSC has had another great year, financially as well as artistically. For the fourth year running the incredible international success of Matilda the Musical has resulted in a surplus of £4 million, which the company is putting into a Strategic Investment Fund ‘for the development of long-term priorities, including key artistic projects’.
As we have highlighted before, one possible way for the RSC to transition away from its current relationship with BP would be to invest a small proportion of this surplus in financing £5 tickets for 16-25-year-olds in the short term, while longer-term solutions that preserve this vital scheme, without subjecting it to the unpredictable nature of corporate sponsorship, can be found.
The company has also added four new trustees to its Board:
- veteran RSC actor Simon Russell Beale, who recently played Prospero in the company’s extraordinary hi-tech production of the Tempest
- Paapa Essiedu whose Hamlet wowed audiences and will be reprised on a national tour next year
- Clare Reddington – Creative Director for Bristol’s Watershed
- historian, educationalist, commentator and political author Sir Anthony Seldon
We hope that the new energy and fresh perspectives these trustees will bring to the board will help move the conversation around BP sponsorship forward.