Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Theatre and corporate sponsorship

Natasha Tripney has done a Guardian blog about the National's production of Much Ado About Nothing being sponsored by Shell. It's a tough one - the Travelex £10 season was generally seen as a triumph in the push towards a more democratised theatre (I could have just written 'cheap seats'...!) and a perfect partnership between business and the arts. The reason *this* feels worse, of course, is that it's Shell, it's oil, it all feels a bit dirty. But if we're ok with Travelex, and not with Shell, then there has to be a line somewhere between the two, which is always going to be tricky.

My gut reaction is to praise the National for being at the forefront of 'taking the bull by the horns' rather than putting their efforts into moaning about cuts in arts funding. But then, maybe they *should* be moaning about it... clearly, there's no easy answer.

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