Royal Shakespeare Company to end BP sponsorship deal


The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) is ending its partnership with BP after coming under pressure over its ties with the oil giant.

The renowned theatre company’s £5 ticket scheme, for 16 to 25-year olds, has been supported by BP since 2013.

The announcement comes just days after school strikers threatened to boycott the British cultural institution over what it called “sickening” links to BP.

BP said it was “disappointed and dismayed that the RSC has decided to end our partnership early”.

Gregory Doran, RSC artistic director and Catherine Mallyon, executive director, said: “Amidst the climate emergency, which we recognise, young people are now saying clearly to us that the BP sponsorship is putting a barrier between them and their wish to engage with the RSC. We cannot ignore that message.


“It is with all of this in mind that we have taken the difficult decision to conclude our partnership with BP at the end of this year.

“There are many fine balances and complex issues involved and the decision has not been taken lightly or swiftly.

“We would like to thank BP for their generous support of the RSC since 2011. We have issued 80,000 tickets to young people who have been able to experience our work through the BP sponsored scheme.”

This summer, Oscar-winning actor Sir Mark Rylance, an associate artist with the RSC for 30 years, quit the theatre company over the issue.

Last month, young students wrote a letter stating that “BP’s influence is nothing but a stain on the RSC.”

“If we, as yo