Last night a film appeared on Twitter from James Le Lacheur who is going to play the Royal Shakespeare Company’s first transgender Juliet in Redefining Juliet tomorrow, part of the RSC’s current Mischief Festival.
In the film, James states that they don’t believe the good caused by BP funding the RSC’s £5 Ticket Scheme for young people ‘outweighs the damage being wrought by the RSC being associated with BP, a corporation with an appalling and continuing track record of environmental negligence and human rights abuses’ and pledges to donate their entire fee to the Fossil Free £5 Ticket Scheme ‘which has been set up with a view to providing an alternative source of £5 tickets for RSC productions and eventually persuade the RSC to fully divest itself of oil sponsorship, and therefore prevent a mass exodus of artists and audiences alike.’ They then encourage others to donate.
The full film can be watched here.
This comes hot on the heels of the biggest ever creative protest against BP sponsorship of the RSC last Saturday, when actorvist theatre troupe BP or not BP? organised a day-long unsanctioned ‘Fossil Free Mischief Festival’ at RSC venues in Stratford-upon-Avon, featuring 10 different performances and more than 70 performers, culminating in a musical invasion of the theatre foyer and a guerrilla projection onto the iconic Royal Shakespeare Theatre.
The pledge echoes last year’s decision by Henry Christian-Slane, the winner of the National Portrait Gallery’s BP Young Artist Award, to donate part of his winnings to anti-BP campaigning and suggests artists are getting more and more frustrated with arts institutions’ determination to stick with BP in the face of clear evidence of the company’s destructive effects around the world.
The Fossil Free £5 Ticket scheme, launched last year, has been supported by a host of theatre stars, including Mark Rylance, Vanessa Redgrave, Andrew Garfield, Emma Thompson, Tamsin Greig, Caryl Churchill, Kristin Scott Thomas, Maxine Peake, Simon McBurney, Miriam Margolyes and Zoë Wanamaker.