I’m leaving the RSC because of its sponsorship deal with the fossil-fuel giant. What would Shakespeare have made of this?
• Mark Rylance is an actor, director and playwright
• Mark Rylance resigns from RSC over BP sponsorship
As a teenager, disenchanted with religion, I turned to Shakespeare for ethical guidance. I was inspired by the work of the Royal Shakespeare Company. It represented the ultimate company of conscious artists, speaking and playing Shakespeare with humour and insight.
In my 20s I was fortunate to join the company, play Hamlet and Romeo, and become an associate artist. I have been delighted ever since to be connected with thousands of artists and audiences who have made the RSC what it is. And yet today I feel I must dissociate myself from the RSC, not because it is any less of a theatre company, but because of the company it keeps.
Surely the RSC wants to be on the side of the world-changing kids, not the world-killing companies?