Rylance gives away his Tony to Wiltshire builder
It was hardly Broadway, but yesterday in his local pub where he has been routinely banned over the past three decades, Mickey Lay, 71, was celebrating his improbable entry into the annals of theatre history in the way he knows best – with a few pints of lager.
The former itinerant took possession of a coveted Tony award given to him by the actor Mark Rylance in recognition of the insight Mr Lay provided into the role of Johnny "Rooster" Byron in the play Jerusalem, which is currently on Broadway in New York. A twice-married father of four, Mr Lay enjoys a questionable reputation among the locals at the Moonrakers pub in the Wiltshire village of Pewsey.
But he struck up a special bond with the double Tony-winning actor during Rylance's research into the play, which is based on the village of Pewsey, where the writer Jez Butterworth lived in the 1990s. At the time, Mr Lay, a former builder, was living in a caravan.
Rylance said: "I think he'd really like it. He was very generous with me and invited me into his house and talked with me for six hours or so on different occasions about his life as a Romany gypsy man in England."
The pub landlord, Jerry Kunkler, who accepted the award on behalf of his most problematic regular during a visit to New York, said he has had occasion to ban Mr Lay 20 times over the past 30 years but that he was welcome back – for now.
Mr Kunkler said when he presented the award to Mr Lay yesterday, the man was overwhelmed: "He didn't really say much although he did open up after a few liveners."
Initially Mr Lay had sent Rylance packing. "But they developed a friendship and he thinks a lot about him," Mr Kunkler said.
Jerusalem recently extended its run on Broadway before a planned return to the London stage in October.
Watch the new House of Cards series three trailerTV
Oscars 2015It was the first time Barney has compered the Academy Awards
Oscars 2015 From Meryl Streep whooping Patricia Arquette's equality speech to Chris Pine in tears
Oscars 2015 Mexican filmmaker uses speech to urge 'respect' for immigrants
TV ReviewThe intrigue deepens as we delve further but don't expect any answers just yet
Razzies 2015 Golden Raspberry Awards 'honours' Cameron Diaz and Kirk Cameron
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Bill Clinton portrait features Monica Lewinsky reference, artist admits
- 2 Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
- 3 Pornhub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 4 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 5 Average penis size revealed: Scientists attempt to find what is 'normal' to reassure concerned men
Historian: ‘Disney was right to show King John as a villain' in Robin Hood
Poldark star Heida Reed says show is not that racy: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
Glastonbury 2015: Coldplay will not headline but Florence Welch might play, says Emily Eavis
Game of Thrones season 5 spoilers: What we can expect according to George RR Martin's books
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut