The Telegraph reports that Tony Award winner Mark Rylance will perform at the opening ceremony for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Rylance will read the speech from William Shakespeare's THE TEMPEST which inspired the opening ceremony's theme of The Isles of Wonders.
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In addition to this performance, a short film was released yesterday to promote the World Shakespeare Festival and celebrate Shakespeare's birthday which featured performances from THE TEMPEST and feature some of the UK's leading actors.
"This celebration of Shakespeare is of Olympic scale and ambition and we hope the film will excite new audiences by linking the Festival to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games," Ruth Mackenzie, the director of the festival, said.
Rylance's extensive theatre credits include Hamm in Endgame (Complicite, Duchess Theatre, West End); Peer Gynt in Peer Gynt (Guthrie); Macbeth in Macbeth (Phoebus Cart, Greenwich, UK Tour); Lee and Austin in True West (Donmar, West Yorkshire); Touchstone in As You Like It and Henry V in Henry V (Theatre for a New Audience); Constantine in The Seagull (A.R.T.); Romeo in Romeo and Juliet (RSC, UK Tour); Henry in Life x 3 (Royal National Theatre, Old Vic); Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream (Royal Opera); Valentin in The Kiss of the Spider Woman (Bush Theatre); Peter Pan in Peter Pan, Ariel in The Tempest, Lucentio in Taming of the Shrew, Michael in Arden of Faversham (RSC); among others. His credits at Shakespeare's Globe included Richard II in Richard II, Henry V in Henry V, Bassanio in The Merchant of Venice, Proteus in Two Gentlemen of Verona, Cleopatra in Antony and Cleopatra and Olivia in Twelfth Night, for which he received a 2002 Evening Standard Award. Rylance most recently brought Jerusalem from the West End to Broadway and back, earning an Olivier and Tony Award for his performance in the show.