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Global Call for Peace from Shakespeare's Globe

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

ON SEPTEMBER 21, 2019, Oscar-winner Sir Mark Rylance will lead celebrations for Peace One Day’s 20th anniversary at Shakespeare’s Globe on London’s Bankside.

The not-for-profit organisation, which has successfully led processes that have resulted in ceasefire in some of the world’s most hostile regions, began in 1999 at the Globe when Sir Mark was in post as its founding Artistic Director.

Peace One Day’s founder Jeremy Gilley had a vision of creating a day of ceasefire and non-violence with a fixed calendar date – Peace Day. The UN made this vision a reality in 2001 by unanimously declaring September 21 to be the International Day of Peace. By last year over a billion people were aware of the day.

Twenty years after it was launched, Sir Mark will join a host of stars to look back at Peace One Day’s achievements. The day-long celebration will comprise panel discussions and readings, culminating in a one-off concert on the Globe stage to honour those who have inspired people around the world to observe the day through peaceful activities and actions.

Sir Mark Rylance said: “We had no idea when we stood on stage last century that hundreds of millions of people would become aware of the cause. I didn’t appreciate then what I realise now – just what could be achieved through determination, perseverance and goodwill.

“To have seen how the International Day of Peace has grown across the world to help so many is an inspiration. We’ll be transmitting peace around the globe from the stage of the Globe to mark Peace Day and to recognise Jeremy’s efforts for the last two decades.”

Joining Gilley at the Globe will be Peace One Day Ambassadors, actors Jude Law, Sir Mark Rylance and Juliet Rylance, international music artists, and key peace advocates including Ahmad Fawzi the United Nations Strategic Communication Expert, Rt Hon Patricia Scotland QC Commonwealth Secretary-General, Dr Scilla Elworthy founder of the Oxford Research Group and Peace Direct, Pastor Dr James Wuye and Imam Dr Muhammad Ashafa.

The full line-up of musicians, actors and speakers will be announced on Thursday, August 8.

On Peace Day, the Globe’s indoor candlelit Sam Wanamaker Playhouse will host discussions tackling issues including Domestic Abuse, Sexual Violence and Cyber Violence. It will then shed candlelight on a handful of the world’s leading actors reading history’s finest speeches on peace in a Words of Peace show. The day will end with a concert performed under the stars in the Globe Theatre by internationally renowned musicians.

Jeremy Gilley said: “It is incredibly moving to be returning to this iconic venue, where we launched Peace One Day to a handful of people 20 years ago. Peace One Day’s mission has been to establish a Peace Day with a fixed calendar date, prove it could reduce violence in areas of conflict, homes, workplaces, local communities and now our goal is to institutionalise this day with three billion people being aware by 2025. It’s inspiring to have the key supporters coming back together for this show from the 20 years of work”.

Michelle Terry, Artistic Director of Shakespeare’s Globe, said: Neuer was a Warre did cease (Ere bloodie hands were wash’d) with such a Peace. Cymbeline

“These are the last words of Shakespeare’s first folio; every word he ever wrote is hurtling towards peace. When the world feels upside down and to have seemingly lost its way, peace seems like the most appropriate direction of travel. We could not be more proud to welcome home Peace One Day…”