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Royal Shakespeare Company drops BP as theatre sponsor over climate concerns

Royal Shakespeare Company drops BP as theatre sponsor over climate concerns
FILE PHOTO: The logo of BP is seen at a petrol station in Kloten, Switzerland October 3, 2017. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann -
Arnd Wiegmann(Reuters)
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LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s Royal Shakespeare Company will drop energy company BP Plc <BP.L> as its sponsor after young people told the theatre group the partnership with BP turned them off going to its plays.

“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,” the RSC said on Wednesday.

“The decision has not been taken lightly or swiftly,” it added of its move to end the partnership, which used money from BP to offer subsidised theatre tickets to young people, by the end of this year.

BP said it was “disappointed and dismayed” at the RSC’s decision.

“Ironically, the increasing polarisation of debate, and attempts to exclude companies committed to making real progress, is exactly what is not needed,” BP said.

(Reporting by Shadia Nasralla; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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