Mark Rylance cancels theatre performances after brother's death in road accident

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Mark Rylance is taking a break from his West End production of Jerusalem following the tragic death of his brother in a road traffic accident in California.

The Oscar-winning actor told fans that his sibling Jonathan Waters, 60, had been knocked off his bicycle in Oakland on 28 May and subsequently died of his injuries. He went on to say that he would be taking time off to attend the funeral.

The 62-year-old, whose birth name is David Mark Rylance Waters, apologised to fans for the cancellation of three performances of the show, in which he has no understudy for the role of Johnny "Rooster" Byron.

"I hope you understand my need to grieve my beloved brother, and thank you for your support at this time," Rylance said. "I hope you will be able to attend another performance of Jerusalem."

Explaining how he would accommodate fans by putting on more shows, Rylance added: "As I have no understudy as Rooster Johnny Byron, sadly these performances have been cancelled. Sonia Friedman Productions, together with Nimax, are arranging additional performances at the end of the scheduled run to try and accommodate everyone who will be affected."

Additional performances have now been arranged for August.

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