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Reclaim Shakespeare Company: action is eloquence

Members of the newly-formed but up-and-coming Reclaim Shakespeare Company delivered an unexpected birthday present to the Bard on his birthday, (23.4.12), by making an unexpected intervention before the Royal Shakespeare Company's production of 'The Tempest' at his home in Stratford-upon-Avon:

A letter of protest at BP's cultural hijack was published in the Guardian on

23.4.12: http://www.guardian.co.uk/stage/2012/apr/22/oiling-wheels-shakespeare-fe... here: http://bp-or-not-bp.org, including links to numerous reviews of this foray, and another 2 days later, this time an a cappella intervention before the press performance of 'Twelfth Night', also at Stratford.

 

Performer One:

Ladies and Gentlemen, there will now be a two-minute performance by the Reclaim Shakespeare Company.

Performer Two:

What country, friends, is this? [raises programme] Where the words of our most prized poet
Can be bought to beautify a patron
So unnatural as British Petroleum?

Strange association! [Performer One unveils image of BP’s Deepwater Horizon drilling disaster] They, who have incensed the seas and shores
From a dark deepwater horizon

Who have unleashed most foul destruction [Performer One unveils image of tar sands] Upon far Canada’s aged forests,
Clawing out the lungs of our sickening earth

Who even now would bespoil the high, white Arctic [Performer One unveils image of

untarnished arctic]
In desperate search of 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! [holding up programme, looking at back page]

Do we sleep?
I find not myself disposed to sleep.

Let us break their staff that would bewitch us!
Out damned logo! [rips out logo from programme]

Audience starts to applaud.

Performer One:

We invite you to join us in tearing the logo from your programme.

Please help us to free the arts from BP.
There will be people with buckets to collect these logos at the end of the performance. We are the Reclaim Shakespeare Company.
We hope you enjoy tonight's show. 

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THIS IS SUBVERTISING; THIS IS BRITAIN

BP logo'd Tate Britain flags receive an oiling, (April 2012) 

http://www.agitartworks.com/f-ingthefuture.htm

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Get arms dealers out of the Gallery!

A message from our friends at Campaign Against Arms Trade:


Get the arms dealers out of the Gallery!

The National Gallery is one of our most iconic public institutions. It is also supporting the arms trade.


Last year the National Gallery hosted an evening reception to celebrate the first day of business at DSEi, the world's largest arms fair. This July, the Farnborough Airshow will also bring authoritarian regimes and weapons manufacturers from around the world to the UK. Unless we act, it looks like the Gallery will again host arms dealers for this event.


Arms company Finmeccanica buys the opportunity to use the Gallery's rooms to impress its clients for just £30,000 a year. This deal means the Gallery is giving both practical support and a veneer of legitimacy to an industry based on death and destruction.


Public criticism can make the Gallery reconsider. Please write to the Gallery's Director now: www.caat.org.uk/email-the-gallery


We can disarm the Gallery


The Gallery's 'ethical fundraising policy' says nothing at all about what might be ethical or unethical. But it does say that sponsorship should not be accepted if it would result in "a level of criticism ... disproportionate to the benefit derived" or if it could cause serious damage to the Gallery's reputation. We can't think of much that is more likely to damage the Gallery's reputation than supporting arms companies!


The Gallery's executive team, led by Director Nicholas Penny, can decide to reject controversial sponsorship.


Hundreds of letters to the Director will give him a taste of just how controversial it is to support the arms trade. Write now to ensure the Gallery does not host an event for the Farnborough Airshow in July and ends its support for the arms trade: www.caat.org.uk/email-the-gallery


Read more about our new campaign.


There's loads happening in the next month...


Join us to launch the campaign to Disarm the Gallery with a mass art-action on 31 March, take part in the Global Day of Action Against Military Spending on 17 April or join us at one of our Campaign Days to plan more hard-hitting action for 2012. Find out more:www.caat.org.uk/events


Thank you for supporting the campaign,


Sarah Waldron
Core Campaign Co-ordinator
Campaign Against Arms Trade
Campaign Against Arms Trade

P.S. The National Gallery has said it will consider turning down sponsorship if it results in "a level of criticism ... disproportionate to the benefit derived" - so your action counts! Take action today: www.caat.org.uk/email-the-gallery

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