Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Call the Prankster Stage and Screen Stars Kick-Start the Fun and Games

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Call the Prankster Stage and Screen Stars Kick-Start the Fun and Games

Article excerpt

Byline: Lizzie Edmonds

STARS of stage and screen today issued a rallying call for Londoners to get involved with the Standard's 2017 Comic Relief campaign.

Oscar-winner Mark Rylance, inset, joined fellow acting stars Damian Lewis and Helen George in backing our "Evening Stand Up" campaign.

All three posed for silly pictures in red noses to encourage Londoners to have a laugh for the cause.

Billions and Homeland star Lewis, 46, who is rehearsing for The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia? which opens at the Haymarket Theatre next month, promised he and his fellow cast members would be fundraising for the cause.

"Jokeathons at work, that's very easy," he said. "I think a 24-hour game of charades would be fun, that's what every office space should be doing. Yes, we [the cast] will be doing that. On March 24. That's what we will be doing."

The actor said he believed it was important to support charity, particularly one such as Comic Relief that works close to home.

"I am particularly interested in helping people both in London and the rest of the UK," he said. "A damaged life here is not only damaging to the person but the people around them. That can have a long-lasting and far-reaching impact."

The actor said comedy was hugely important to him -- and that his wife, the actress Helen McCrory, was the person who made him laugh the most.

"Yes, god I think laughing is terribly important," he said. "We forget to laugh as we are running around so much. Good comedians are worth their weight in gold. I absolutely love comedy.

"My wife makes me laugh a lot. [Our humour] is very dry. Very cut and thrust. I'm not always sure it is a joke. Or who is being laughed at, in fact."

One of his best on-stage experiences was a production of a 17th-century comedy. He said: "The most fun I have ever had on stage was getting dressed up in five-inch heels and a dress for a Ben Jonson play called The Devil Is An Ass. …

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