For years now (nearly five) Gerald has been telling us about this fabled stage actor. Mark something. Apparently he's rated in the top three stage actors OF ALL TIME.
1) Lawrence Olivier
2) Judy Dench
3) Mark Thingy
All seems a bit far fetched really, but things got really ridiculous when he claimed to have met him. I mean really. There followed an imaginary email exchange where encouragement was apparently forthcoming but Mark Whatsit was a bit busy in America doing a BFG film (Oh please, the BFG film was a cartoon and it was ages ago). Much was made about how Gerald was under a lot of stress and the odd delusion really wasn't hurting anyone. Gerald spoke of us performing for Mark , we let him indulge in the fantasy with a minimal amount of exaggerated "he's lost it" hand gestures. As he continued to email we began to speculate on the wording of the restraining order that was doubtless his only real communications with Mark Youmacallit. Eventually one of the emails requesting his patronage of the company netted the result "I thought I already was". Clearly this was correspondence of staggering eloquence on Gerald's part. So yeah, um, we've got a patron. The teasing was over. Mark Rylance is real and Gerald knows him.
So it was really happening. We had a date to do it and everything. We weren't nervous. Not at all.
Then he only went and got himself knighted didn't he?