British actor Mark Rylance picked up his third Tony Award last night at the annual Tony Awards bash in New York.

Mark Rylance accepting his third Tony Award

Mark Rylance accepting his third Tony Award

He took home the Best performance by an actor in a featured role in a play award for his much-lauded performance in Twelfth Night – a production that has gone from Shakespeare’s Globe on the South Bank to the Apollo Theatre in the West End, to Broadway.

His fellow cast members Paul Chahidi and Stephen Fry were also nominated for the award, with Samuel Barnett also nominated in the Leading Role category.

Rylance faced stiff competition in the Best performance by an actor in a featured role in a play category by none other than two of his fellow actors, plus Reed Birney (Casa Valentina) and Brian J. Smith (The Glass Menagerie).

The win marks Rylance’s third gong, having previously won for Boeing Boeing in 2008 and Jerusalem in 2011.

In his acceptance speech Mark praised the efforts of Sam Wanamaker, who instigated the rebuilding of Shakespeare’s Globe on the South Bank, saying “I used to feel many times on stage when I was playing the Countess Olivia or Richard III, Sam standing next to me there saying back to this community, look what I went and showed them. I went and showed them they could be truer to Shakespeare than they realised they could be.”

It wasn’t an especially big night for Brits at the Tony Awards, with Sophie Okonedo winning the featured actress in a play award for A Raisin in the Sun and Jenny Tiramani winning best costume design of a play for Twelfth Night.

SPEECH

Mark Rylance’s acceptance speech on winning his 2014 Best performance by an actor in a featured role in a play award for Twelfth Night.
Wow I’m up first.
Thank you so much. Thank you so much for your generosity.
We had such a ball playing Shakespeare here in this city. Backstage and on stage too.
I wanted to say a word about Sam Wanamaker, who was a New York actor who in the 1950’s was blacklisted by Senator John McCarthy, and he and his wife Charlotte Wanamaker had to leave and go to London. And in 1969, Sam would see the model of the Globe in Chicago at the World’s Fair, was shocked to find there was no Globe theatre in London.
And he gave the last 25 years of his life, cajoling , harassing, encouraging many people, helping him to rebuild the Globe. Many of them American – benefactors, actors, scholars. And the work that you are celebrating tonight of Stephen’s and Paul’s and all of the wonderful nominees that you have made in our two productions, we are children of Sam Wanamaker’s vision.
And I used to feel many times on stage when I was playing the Countess Olivia or Richard III, Sam standing next to me there saying back to this community, look what I went and showed them. I went and showed them they could be truer to Shakespeare than they realised they could be. And that’s something that you as Americans have given us. So thank you very much for this beautiful award.

VIDEO

Mark Rylance’s acceptance speech on winning his 2014 Best performance by an actor in a featured role in a play award for Twelfth Night.

LINKS

FULL LIST OF TONY AWARDS 2014 WINNERS
Tony Awards website
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