IslingtonTribune

The independent London newspaper

Rylance the Oscar winner turns poet at Upper Street fundraiser

Bridge Of Spies star joins Stop The War xmas fundraiser

12 December, 2016 — By Joe Cooper

Mark Rylance with musician Adam Beattie

OSCAR-winning actor Mark Rylance cast his spell in an Upper Street restaurant on Wednesday at Stop the War Coalition’s Christmas fundraiser.

Rylance, currently starring in Nice Fish, directed by his wife, Claire van Kampen, at the Harold Pinter Theatre, read one of his own poems after dinner at Pasha’s, the Turkish restaurant.

His friend, musician Adam Beattie, performed a Turkish-tinged anti-war song before Rylance entranced the room with his poem on protest, “Between the Admiral and the Art Collection”.

Rylance, a Stop the War Coalition patron, told the Tribune he had only recently finished the poem and that the Imperial War Museum said they wanted it for their archives.

Rylance, 56, came out as a Remainer ahead of the EU Referendum, but he had other issues on his mind on Wednesday. “The challenges we face – mass starvation, climate change – are so much bigger,” he said. “The question is do we face them together or alone?”

He called for fossil fuels divestment and for the UK to give its army and the money to be spent on Trident to the United Nations to further peace. Despite the worsen­ing crisis in Syria, he insisted that war was still not the answer. “Not on the evidence I have seen,” he said. “You cannot fight war with war. Sometimes situations get so infected you just have to step back – people think there’s a lump you can just cut out. What are we going to do – smash Putin? We have to look at the problems underneath.”

Musician Brian Eno was the other star guest. Raffle prizes included a signed copy of his new album, Reflection, and a poster for Bridge of Spies, the film for which Rylance received a best supporting actor gong. The poster was signed by Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg and Rylance.

Amusingly, Jeremy Corbyn’s wife, Laura Alvarez, won the Stop the War goodie bag.

Chairman Murad Qureshi helped draw the raffle.

 

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