Performances of actor Sir Mark Rylance’s West End show Jerusalem have been cancelled after the death of his “beloved” brother in a cycling accident.
The Oscar and BAFTA-winning actor said his brother Jonathan Waters was hit while on his bike in the US in May and later died from his injuries.
Weekend showings of Jerusalem have been called off so Rylance, 62, can attend his funeral in California.
“I am so sorry to tell you that on 28 May my dear brother Jonathan Waters was knocked from his bicycle and tragically died of his injuries,” the British actor said in a statement.
“In order to attend his funeral in California, I unfortunately have to miss three performances of Jerusalem over Saturday 11 – Sunday 12 June.”
Sir Mark, who plays Johnny “Rooster” Byron in the show, said he had no understudy for the lead role so the performances had to be cancelled – but that extra shows would be added to the end of the scheduled run so that those who miss out can hopefully still see the play.
He continued: “I hope you understand my need to grieve my beloved brother, and thank you for your support at this time.
“I hope you will be able to attend another performance of Jerusalem.”
Sir Mark, who is known for films including Bridge Of Spies, The BFG, Dunkirk and Trial Of The Chicago 7, as well as his stage work, first starred as brutish Johnny “Rooster” Byron in Jez Butterworth’s play at the Royal Court Theatre in 2009.
The production moved to the Apollo Theatre the following year and he went on to win the Olivier award for best actor for his performance.
He reprised his role when Jerusalem returned to the West End in April, alongside Pirates Of The Caribbean and The Office star Mackenzie Crook.
The actor won his Oscar and film BAFTA awards for best supporting actor for Bridge Of Spies in 2015, and also won TV BAFTAs for The Government Inspector in 2005 and Wolf Hall in 2015.
Additional performances Jerusalem have been added on Tuesday 9 August at 1.30pm and 7.30pm and Wednesday 10 August at 1.30pm.
Organisers said all affected customers would have exclusive access to exchange their tickets for these performances on a first come, first served basis.
“We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience this may cause you and look forward to welcoming you to an alternative performance,” they said.