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National Theatre drops Shell sponsorship in win for environment

THE National Theatre became the second major company to drop sponsorship from oil firms today after parting company with Shell.

Shell had been a “corporate gold” member of the National Theatre, giving the oil company access to exclusive perks and facilities at the theatre in return for £15,000 per year.

The news came just two days after the Royal Shakespeare Company publicly announced the end of its long-running sponsorship deal with BP.

Danny Chivers, from the activist theatre group BP or not BP, said remaining oil-sponsored institutions are “looking increasingly isolated.”

He said: “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.”

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