Now National Theatre cancels Shell sponsorship

The National Theatre has announced a “climate emergency” and is cancelling its partnership with Shell.

The decision follows a demonstration on September 20 when actors and theatre professionals walked out in support of global climate strikes, and called for an end to Shell funding. It comes two days after the RSC ended its association with anther fossil fuel company, BP.

Shell is a corporate gold member of the National Theatre, worth £15,000 a year, but a National spokesperson said: “Shell have been valued and longstanding supporters of the National Theatre, most recently as corporate members – this membership will come to an end in June 2020.”

The move comes amid growing clamour for arts organisations to distance themselves from fossil fuel companies. "With both the RSC and the National Theatre ending their oil company partnerships, the remaining oil-sponsored institutions are looking increasingly isolated” said Danny Chivers, from the activist group BP or not BP?. “It is simply no longer acceptable for any cultural organisation to be promoting and supporting the fossil fuel industry in the middle of a climate crisis.

“It’s time the British Museum, Royal Opera House, Science Museum, National Portrait Gallery and Southbank Centre followed the ethical leadership of the National Theatre and the RSC - otherwise they seriously risk losing their legitimacy in the eyes of a public that is only becoming more concerned about the climate emergency” he said.



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